My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ruby Bell lives in the town of Liberty in East Texas. She was one of the most beautiful women in the town. Liberty is the town she grew up in and ran away from in search of her mother in New York City. When news of the death of her best friend reaches her, she decides to return to Liberty, but the things that await her there are very dark and menacing.
Ephram Jennings lost both his mother and father at a young age and was raised by his sister Celia. Celia takes great care of Ephram and together they attend church every Sunday and are a pillar in the community.
Ephram has known Ruby Bell since they were small children, although his interaction with her has been very limited. When she returns to Liberty Ephram would like to change that. But Ruby Bell is no longer the same woman who returned to Liberty. Frequently she can be found huggin the chinaberry tree on the edge of the woods near her home(Bell Land), she is often naked, or barely dressed and once even urinated in the middle of the street. Everyone in Liberty knows that Ruby Bell is a harlot and a Jezebel. Ephram refuses to believe that this is true and makes it his mission to prove this to the entire town.
Religion plays a big part in this book which really spoke to me. We as Christians are taught to love one another and treat each other the way Jesus treated the world, with kindness and compassion. It always gets to me how tolerance and love become an issue when trying to help those who are different. Ruby is plagued by demons in this book and the town shuns and rapes her for this. They call her crazy and when Ephram goes to her to help her be the woman HE knows she can be, he is looked down upon by the entire town and especially by his sister Celia. Ephram wants to understand the demons in Ruby and he never judges her for her "crazy" ways, but tries to comprehend what she is going through.
This story really touched my heart. We all need to do what we can for each other especially in the African American community. We tend to shun away from each other instead of embracing one another. I loved the way that Ephram went to Ruby despite what the rest of the town thought. How he stood by her side no matter what. This book could teach us all a lesson.
**I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.**