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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Does This Taste Funny to You? Why would you recommend something disturbing to someone else?


You know how sometimes someone will smell something and tell you “This smells awful!” and then they shove it under your nose for you to smell it?


Or they say, “does this taste funny to you?” and then try to make you taste something that may or may not be rotten or just bad tasting?

Why do we do that? Why do we want to gross out someone else?


I feel that way a little bit in writing this post about a book I just finished for my online book club, From Left to Write. The book is Ruby by Cynthia Bond.


I feel like I’m telling you to look while you drive by a train wreck. What you see will scare you and shake you up and possibly haunt you for the rest of your life, but yet I tell you to look; to slow down and take a good look.

Let me first say... I LOVED THE BOOK! It was a bit slow going in the beginning, I wasn't sure I wanted to continue but then all of a sudden the author reached her hand out of the book, grabbed me by the neck and dragged me into the story of Ruby and Ephram and never let me go.

Once the book was finished I felt drained and torn between being happy the book ended and wanting it to go on. At times while reading it I had to put it down because the story was weighing heavy on my heart and my mind, and I just didn't think I could handle reading any more. But I was always drawn back because I had to see how things would end with Ruby and Ephram!

Now my dilemma is...do I recommend the book to my mom and my sister? I usually will recommend a book once I know that I liked it, but I'm hesitating on this one. I did like it, but is it for them? Am I asking them to taste something that's bad for them or to stop and gawk at a train wreck?

My mom and my sister are the type of people that only want to see the good and the pretty and the nice in life. They know the ugly is out there, but they want to avoid it at all cost!

Take television for example. They like to watch those channels that show TV programs like I Like Lucy, The Brady Bunch, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie. All those sweet programs from my childhood where nothing worse happens than that Jan Brady has to wear glasses while Marcia, Marcia, Marcia gets all the boys!

My sister has told me several times that she prefers to watch those shows because life is hard enough. She likes to lose herself in pleasant programs where everything gets resolved in 30 minutes or less and no one ever kills someone or yells at them. She points out programs like The Real Housewives and Bridezilla as shows that are what is wrong with the world these days, there is no respect for each other, you just say what you feel without worrying you are going to hurt someone. It's all about the money and the ratings and the fame; morality and kindness doesn't come into play.

I have to say I agree with her somewhat, but I just can't stomach watching sappy TV shows from my past because I know life isn't always pretty and tied up with a big red bow. Couples do fight and divorce. Siblings aren't always nice to each other and in real life cops do get shot, they don't just wander the street with one bullet in their pocket, like Barney Fife!

So this book...do I recommend it to my mom and sister? It saddened me. It hurt my heart for the characters and mainly because I realize that the trauma that Ruby suffered happens in real life. It happens every day to little girls, to teenage girls, to grown women!

I don't know. I'm going to have to think about this. Whether or not I will recommend it to the two people in my life with kind, gentle hearts.

Do you ever not recommend a book because it's too sad or too powerful or too whatever?

This post was inspired by the novel Ruby by Cynthia Bond. A gripping novel, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man's dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of over.  Join From Left to Write on May 8 when we discuss Ruby. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.


 

16 comments:

  1. Too late! This post is all the recommendation I need. Hand it over! I have my entertainment for the next few days!

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  2. I thought about this before picking it for the book club. I think the story is important to tell and the writing is so good. I need an escapist read every now and again but stories like RUBY need to be told.

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    1. I'm glad you did choose this one. It's a great story and a book that sticks with you. The last few books were easy reads, light and not a lot of meat to them, but this book was meaty! Thanks for choosing books that we normally might not think to read.

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  3. I told my mom about it and when she said she wanted to read it, I told her no lol. I loved it, but like you said, it was very heavy and hurt my heart. The night I stayed up to finish it, I had a nightmare! I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads, but I don't know if I can say "you've got to read this book". It definitely needs a disclaimer.

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  4. I am so glad I am not the only one! Judging by some of the blog posts I've read quite a few people had problems with the book, even though everyone seemed to like it. I know I gave it five stars as well. My sister is demanding to read it, so I guess I'll let her, she's been warned! Sorry you had a nightmare, but I can see how that can happen!

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  5. The power of good literature is that is does hurt your heart, you can live through absolute horrors vicariously. I would say to show it to your mom and sister and let them decide. They are big girls now.

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    1. Well Lisa has been demanding I let her borrow it, so I'll let her read it first and see how it goes. This might be a book you would like Sextant. Have you read it?

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    2. No I have not read it. I checked out the write up on Amazon. Yes, it is a dark and heavy title, and it does look good. Added it to my wish list.

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    3. I somehow think it would be one that you would like.

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  6. I definitely know what you are saying - and had the same thoughts (I included a disclaimer in my post that I hope didn't detract from what I was trying to say) but agree that I recommend it!

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    1. I really enjoyed your post, so honest and open. The disclaimer did not detract from the purpose of the post! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I had a hard time with the book and getting into it, my mom and sister love true crime thrillers (as do I) but I do not know that I would recommend it. True crime or fictional crime thrillers are hard to read, but I always feel like I know what I am getting into. I guess I just expected racism and violent activity, but to the extent that some of it was detailed made me extremely queasy and gave me nightmares for days. I am sure it didn't help that I typically read before bed to relax.

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    1. I know! Me too! I read before bed and some of the content was disturbing. In real life if you see something like violence or sexual assault or molestation against children you can at least do something, call the police or child social services....but when you read it in a book and you can't do anything about it, well it makes you feel helpless. It was a difficult book to read. I'm glad I'm not the only one that felt that way.

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  8. Well, it's not a life and death matter. You could recommend it if you wish as a heavy,nightmarish book you liked and found interesting. The two will decide for themselves whether to read it or not.
    Me, I would neither read it nor recommend it. I agree with your sister Lisa's view that life is hard enough as it is.

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    1. Thanks DUTA for the comment. I'm the kind of person that can read a book or watch a movie and it hurts and/or scares in the moment and then I can just carry on. My mom and my sister both are the kind of people that can watch a scary movie and not sleep for two days! I was blessed with my dad's ability to sleep anywhere and let go of a problem as though it were dust in the wind...mom and Lisa are not like me. But I did let Lisa borrow the book, so we shall see how she does.

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