TSU Book Club | June Discussion

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ruby by Cynthia Bond was our June TSU Book Club pick. This book follows the mysterious life of Ruby in her small town and Ephram who has loved her since childhood. This book is very dark and hard to read, yet beautifully written. If you haven't read it yet, please do not continue reading as there are many spoilers ahead.

1. Celia and her dad are very similar, yet innately different. What she sees as a child is highly misinformed, yet her actions echo some of the attitudes her father and those around her in the town had. Is she an innocent or just as guilty?

- I think as a child, Celia was very much a victim of a social mindset. Like many children, she idolizes her father and looks down upon her mother, based on what others have said. She represents the collective memory in this book. However, an older Celia definitely should take responsibility for her actions and act in a different manner, which she did not.

2. I would say this book is classified as magical realism. The setting really was a character that acted on, through, and alongside the rest of the cast. Would you agree with this?

3. How did you feel about Ephram? At the beginning I thought he was very shy and almost without a backbone. I am happy that in the end he came onto himself and got more courage to fight for himself and Ruby against Celia and the town.

4. This book is an example of 'history repeats itself.' How do you think this is true (or not)?

- In a way, Reverend Jennings is kept alive through his daughter. Similarly, Ruby's aunt is alive in her. It seems like the end scene might have been a cleanse or a break from that for some characters.

5. How do you feel about the Dybou? How did these feelings evolve?

- At the beginning, I was confused as to this 'character.' I wasn't sure what it was, what its intentions were, and what role did it play. I'm still unsure about it, but I feel the Dybou is a symbol of the past merging with the present and having an acting role in the present characters' life.

I'm leaving it to 5 questions so that we can further interact and discuss in the comments down below. Feel free to bring up any points or questions you did not understand. Thank you so much for reading along!

XO, Patricia

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