Ruby by Cynthia Bond Summary Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Ruby

Plot Summary Part 4

Celia blamed Ruby, then a six year old girl, for corrupting her father. How crazy is that?

Back in the present, Ruby goes outside in the pouring rain because she sees ghosts of dead children. Then the evil black sex ghost comes, but Ephram scares him away by whistling. Black sex ghosts are not only afraid of crows, but also whistling.

Ruby flashes back to the time when she and another black prostitute were servicing a client who liked to strangle them with rope. Ruby watches how the client strangles the other black prostitute to death. This upsets Ruby. When her pimp, Miss Barbara, sees the dead prostitute, she tells Ruby to get some ice cream to refresh herself before her next client.

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Back in the present, members of the local church led by Celia show up to harass Ruby and Ephram. Ruby goes crazy and accidently stabs Ephram. Ephram gets taken to the hospital.

When Ephram returns to Ruby, she lifts her dress, takes off her panties and spreads her legs, but Ephram still won't bone her. Ruby finds this very frustrating.

Ruby remembered the time when she was six years old and the Reverend Jennings boned her. He did that a lot when she was a kid but now he is dead, he comes back to bone her as a black sex ghost, calling her a whore and "little cunt".

But the next time the black sex ghost came calling, Ruby fights back. She called on tree roots to help her. With the help of the tree roots, the black sex ghost was driven away.

Ephram's church wants to rebaptize him or something in a lake. Ephram goes into the lake but instead of getting baptized, goes for a leisurely swim instead.

The end.

Oh, were you expecting a more comprehensive ending, like seeing whether Ephram and Ruby finally got together? Sorry, that's all she wrote. Ephram goes swimming, the end. That's all!

Literary Criticism:

All joking aside. This story was about a girl who was raped as a child and was so mentally disturbed by it that she "saw ghosts", not actual ghosts but rather representations of her fears (the evil black sex ghost) and her sadness (the dead children ghosts). But this theme was repeated over and over and over and over until it became tiresome. And there were many unanswered questions. Ruby repeatedly referenced "dead children", but only gave two examples, her dead baby and the dead prostitute she used to work with. Who were the others?

And then there were the children that the Reverend Jennings boned at night. Where did all these kids come from? How does one get a supply of young children on a regular basis? What happened to these kids? None of this is ever explained.

The whole magic spells and ghost story themes were ridiculous. The ghost was scared off by a crow? By a whistle? By tree roots? Magic powder is made of red pepper? Magical black Barbie dolls??? All quite ridiculous.

The ending as I have said was a major disappointment. The central part of the story was the relationship between Ruby and Ephram and that is never resolved or concluded.

Also, while one can sympathize with Ruby for being raped as a child, one becomes less sympathetic for her as a character when we read how she spent her life as a willing whore, enjoying much of it.

This was a totally ridiculous and unlikeable book.

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