Publisher: Dafina Books - Kensington Publishing Corp
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Reviewed by Chrystal Dorsey
Deception, lust, and murder are a few of the ingredients that will keep readers turning the pages of Mama Ruby, by New York Times Bestselling Author Mary Monroe.
The story opens in 1934 in Shreveport, Louisiana - and is the prequel to Monroe's The Upper Room, and takes place during Ruby's formative years - and boy how influential those years were in shaping Ruby into the character she became.
The down-home Southern names are earthy to match the thickness of the characters - Ruby Jean, Othella Mae, Beulah, Simone are just a few of the names that are used to express the time period the story is set in. Ruby is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter - it was supposed to mean she had mystical abilities that she didn't want anything to do with - she didn't need or want the responsibility, after all just being the daughter of a preacher was enough of a burden as far as Ruby was concerned.
You would think by being the daughter of overly religious parents it would have had a positive influence on the main character, Ruby - but it did not. Instead Ruby was the promiscuous ignorant young daughter of a preacher and the horrific and somewhat unbelievable consequences that occurred throughout her childhood followed her into adulthood and only seem to be compounded by her own actions.
The human elements of this story may cause many readers to become angry and perhaps even sympathize with the characters. I was angered enough to put the book down, but had no sympathy for the characters; I did not like the characters, their lifestyles or what they represented. However, I wanted to know what happened, how the characters did or did not prevail over their grim circumstances.
This book contains some gritty as well as offensive language therefore; the recommended audience should be mature readers of ages 18 and older.
Review copy provided by author.