Saturday, March 21, 2015

An Open Letter to Oprah Regarding Ruby


Dear Oprah,

How are you? Hope everything is well.  How are Stedman and the dogs? And the rest of your family?  And I see Gail on TV, and it looks like she is doing well.

I am here to write to you about your latest book club selection, Ruby.  I have read several of your selections, even when you still have your daily talk show, and found many of them to be good books.  And I will be forever grateful that you featured Edwidge Danticat and the awesomeness that is Pearl Cleage.

So when you named Ruby as your latest book club selection, I was surprised that you picked it.  When Ruby was released last spring, I started reading it.  And I admit that I wasn't impressed and got confused at the part when the main characters visited the voodoo woman.  About 60 pages in, I decided to put it back on my TBR list.  Which it remained until you named it as your book club selection.  So last month, I decided to give the book another chance.

I am glad that I gave this book another chance!  I started from the beginning, got pass the part I was stuck on and read the whole thing in a few days.  Ruby went through a lot in her 40+ years and since she was a prostitute, no one in Liberty, TX wanted to give her the time of day. Except Ephram.  He might have been a little slow physically and emotionally stunted due to the cards that was dealt with him in life, but EPHRAM WAS THE MAN.  To pull Ruby up from her despair and turned her life around...NOW THAT'S LOVE.

I can see why you liked this book so much.  It has a lot of elements that both of us have seen in two of your favorite authors, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.  This book dealt with spirits and the Devil (known as Dybou), child abuse and prostitution, sexual abuse, low self-esteem, how religion can be used for good and bad, the complexities of race, sexuality and redemptive love.  Cynthia Bond isn't Toni or Alice, but she still writes a compelling novel.

I look forward to upcoming discussions about the book on Oprah.com and tomorrow on Super Soul Sunday on OWN.  I also look forward to the sequels to the book and see how Ruby and Ephram develop.  I am happy that you have selected this book and gave another African-American female author a chance.

Best,
Maya

P.S. Since it looks like you will be picking books at least once a year, I think Silver Sparrow will be a great selection for 2016. Or Saint Monkey. Or The Turner House. Or God Help The Child (which you've probably already read by now).

Photo credit: CTV

2 comments:

  1. I STILL need to read Silver Sparrow. But does Oprah pick books that aren't new publications? And I've had my eye on The Turner House for a while. Almost requested an ARC, but something about this book is making me nervous. I can't quite put my finger on what it is about the synopsis. I really want to like it and I'm thinking that may not be the case....

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  2. Silver Sparrow is awesome. This was the only book in Oprah's 2.0 book club that wasn't a new book. But, it's only a year old and they were able to catch it during the paperback run. And I'm reading The Turner House and I'm enjoying it so far. In my opinion, this book is what the 12 Tribes of Hattie should have been.

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