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.