352 Pages, 1 Killer Cocktail

April 1, 2014 | By | Comments (8)
"Ruby: A Novel" by Cynthia Bond

Photo: Chis Ellenbogen

This month, our book club is dishing on Ruby: a Novel, the debut from Texas-native Cynthia Bond. After living in New York City, Ruby Bell returns to her hometown of Liberty and her once-glamorous life begins a downward spiral into insanity as she painfully addresses the buried secrets of her past. Under the binds of Liberty, a small township in East Texas, the truth is better left unsaid. It takes the unexpected strength of Ephram Jennings and his lifelong love of Ruby to set her free.

We’re flipping for this page-turner and know that your book club will too. So, shake up a batch of our cocktail du jour—The Lost In Texas—and start flipping, sipping, and mingling. This 5-question reading guide will get the book chatter started.

5-Question Reading Guide

1. How did Ruby’s story change the way you view the world? What does the novel show us about the nature of trauma and the power of compassion?

2. Celia copes with tragedy by putting her world in strict order, from her household to her church life. Ruby becomes lost to disorder. What accounts for their different approaches to emotional pain?

3. At the heart of the novel is Ruby’s vision of her children, and her vision of herself as a mother. How is she able to respond with a nurturing urge although no one nurtured her? Discuss the roles of mothers and fathers in Liberty.

4. As you read the story of Ruby’s mother, how did you react to the notion that the past is still present? What does it take to overcome the Bell family’s legacy?

5. Evoking the image of a precious gem, why is Ruby’s name appropriate? Throughout her life, what is she taught about her beauty and her value?

Reading guide questions written by Amy Clements.

GIVEAWAY! Tell us about your book club for a chance to win 10 copies of Ruby: A Novel signed by Cynthia Bond! Official rules. 


  1. C B

    I don’t think your church book club is going to enjoy reading this horrific tale of rape and brutality to women and children. I am really shocked that Southern Living recommended this book and then came up with a cocktail for it.

    November 17, 2014 at 10:30 am
  2. Patricia Shannon

    Congratulations, Connie! You won the “Ruby: A Novel” giveaway!

    April 21, 2014 at 5:01 pm
  3. Connie Reeve

    Our book club “The Page Turners” was founded in 2009 by Karen who sent out an e-mail to her fellow teachers, friends, and neighbors to see who would be interested in a book club. We had our first meeting in Sept. and decided to read The Help. Boy did we pick a good first novel. We had gained some new members and had some become inactive due to health or schedules, but we all love to read. The hostess for next meeting selects a book and reveals it to the members. We have read a large variety of genres and have really enjoyed reading books that we might not have selected on our own. Many have been debut novels and many have been southern authors. Ruby sounds like a great book club selection.

    April 11, 2014 at 9:21 pm
  4. Margaret

    I don’t belong to a book club, but would love to win and read this one!

    April 7, 2014 at 11:57 am
  5. Margaret

    Our 12 member group has been together 20 years this June. We’d love the opportunity to read and discuss Ms. Bond’s book!

    April 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm
  6. Elizabeth jenkins

    Our book club is a wonderful mix of personalities. We enjoy each other’s company and perspective. Our meetings are some of the most enjoyable moments of each month. What’s better than sharing a meal, a laugh, a cry, a book with an amazing group of women!

    April 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm
  7. anne

    Our bookclub enjoys reading profound books that are memorable and linger. We are mature and avid readers.

    April 3, 2014 at 12:33 pm
  8. Merilyn Dimmitt

    We are forming a new book club at our church and would love for this book to be our first book.

    April 2, 2014 at 9:39 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s