At a Glance
Title: Saving Ruby King
Author: Catherine Adel West
Expected Publication: June 16, 2020 by Park Row
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Goodreads Rating: 4.38 out of 5
My Rating: ★★★★
In light of recent events I’ve been reevaluating what I’ve been reading. While I’ve done a decent job of reading more diversely genre wise, I didn’t take into consideration reading diversely based on authors. I’m committing to reading more authors of color in the future and this month alone I’ve read 4 out of 8 books from AOC, or half of my books have been written by AOC. In addition to Saving Ruby King, I have read The Vanishing Half, Mexican Gothic, and Get a Life Chole Brown! All of which have been excellent. I gave Saving Ruby King only 4 stars though because The Vanishing Half has been my favorite book this month hands down and nothing has compared to it yet. With that said though Saving Ruby King is an amazing debut. I really cannot believe that this is West’s first novel.
Before I get further in my review, I will say that this is not a mystery. I’m not sure why they classified it as such but this is much more an exploration of race and culture in the Chicago’s African American community. While there is a mystery element to the story, it’s more an uncovering and exploration of the secrets we keep from each other, especially within families, and how the mold us into who we are. It’s not a complaint and didn’t change my rating but if you are looking for a solid murder mystery, this is not it.
Now to the review!
West has crafted a such an authentic story around this community and has told the story through decades and countless perspectives. Heck, she uses an actual building to tell part of the story. It’s incredibly unique the way you weaves each of these perspectives into one, and how they all seamless flow throughout the book. Each of the characters are so well defined, and while I’m not really a huge fan of character driven novels, this book has just enough plot and action to keep me engaged while also allowing me to focus on the people within the story more than the story itself. Once again, this is a debut novel, wow.
I feel that this book’s publication is coming out at a perfect time and will really help to shed some light on the black communities in major urban areas. I believe that West actually used some of her own experiences within the book, which really gives the whole story a very realistic atmosphere.
I highly recommend this book for a good multi-generational family story. The writing is beautifully done and I can’t wait to see what else West puts out in the coming years!
This book comes out June 16th. Get it HERE!
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Saving Ruby King. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof_books. Huge thank you to Park Row for my Advanced Copy.
About the Author
Catherine Adel West is an editor living and working in Chicago. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Her work is published in Black Fox, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Gay Magazine. Saving Ruby King is her first novel.
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