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 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.