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Two Families Bonded by Many Secrets

Title: Saving Ruby King

Author: Catherine Adel West

Genre: Fiction Mystery

What I'm Drinking: Chocolate Mint Tea

Summary: Saving Ruby King tells the stories of complex friendships that stretch across 3 generations between 2 families: the Kings and the Potters. Events from each generation impact the friendship between childhood friends Layla Potter and Ruby King. Throughout the book, Layla will do anything to save Ruby from her father and even herself after the murder of Ruby’s mother.

First thoughts after reading the book: Reading Saving Ruby King left me questioning my loyalty to those I consider my closest friends. If I was in the same position as these characters would I choose the decisions that they made? Would I lie? Would I keep secrets? Would I kill in the name of friendship?

Saving Ruby King has some heavy topics and could be triggering to anyone who has gone through any type of abuse. Characters endured all types of abuse (physical, verbal, and sexual) by the people who were supposed to protect and love them, their parents.

Many of the characters stuck with me after I finished the book. The whole time I wondered why Layla was so obsessed with “saving” Ruby? I think Layla genuinely loved Ruby and wanted the best for her, but I also think her pride, stubbornness, and desire to be right played a part. Whatever Layla’s motives were and no matter how suffocating she could be, we all need a ride-or-die friend like Layla in our corner who can help save us from ourselves.

Ruby’s father Lebanon still lingers in my mind too. He is such a horrible person, but once I learned of his story I found myself sympathizing with his younger self. His story is the definition of hurt people, hurt people.

I enjoyed Calvary Hope Christian Church which played a non-human character. Calvary was like the fly on the wall that was able to give details, and parallels between the generational friendships based on the things that happened between its four walls.

Each generation of friends in this book had secrets that bonded them. Some secrets were taken to the grave and sealed with “Forever and to the end” which means “I love you”. Some secrets were exposed and were essential in the forgiveness and healing process of some of the characters. Some secrets didn’t have a happy ending but still worked out for the good. I think anyone who enjoys mystery, secrets, and stories told across generations should give Saving Ruby King a try!

- Maya & The Spine Down



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