Probably Ruby A novel

Lisa Bird-Wilson

Book - 2022

"When we first meet Ruby, a Métis woman in her 30s, she's a mess. She's angling to sleep with her therapist while also rekindling an old relationship with a man who was - let's just say - a mistake. As we will soon learn, however, Ruby's story is far broader and deeper than its rollicking, somewhat lighthearted first chapter. This is the story of a woman in search of herself, in every sense. Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby was raised by a white couple who under...stand little of her Indigenous heritage. Growing up Ruby longs to know where she comes from and who her people are. This is the great mystery that hovers over her life and the book. Through a non-chronological structure, we meet the people who have shaped her life: her adoptive parents; her birth parents and grandparents; the men and women Ruby has been romantically involved with. All these characters form a kaleidoscope of stories, giving Ruby's life dignity and meaning"--

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FICTION/Bird-Wilson, Lisa
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Bird-Wilson, Lisa (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 3, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Novels
Published
London ; New York : Hogarth 2022.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
272 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9780593448670
0593448677
Main Author
Lisa Bird-Wilson (author)
Review by Library Journal Reviews

A Métis woman in her thirties, Ruby was adopted by white parents who imparted nothing of her heritage, and now she wants to know where she came from. With her, readers learn about her birth parents and grandparents, as well as her children and the lovers, both men and women, who have enriched her life if sometimes bringing her heartache. From Cree-Métis writer Bird-Wilson, who has published poetry and story collections in Canada and debuts in the United States with this first novel. Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The moving if somewhat disjointed latest from Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw poet Bird-Wilson (The Red Files) pieces together scenes from the life of a troubled and spirited woman. The protagonist, daughter of two teenagers, one Métis and one white, is adopted by a white couple and grows up in western Canada with the name Ruby Valentine. She copes with feeling disconnected from her adopted family and from her ancestral origins by drinking excessively and with a series of doomed relationships. The author flips back and forth through Ruby's unhappy childhood and unfulfilling visits with her birth family, with each chapter dedicated to a different character in her "relationship web." There's her birth father, who died in a car wreck when Ruby was a child; her mother, who was forced by the state to surrender her baby; her grandfather, who endured horrors at a residential school for Indigenous children; and several others. Each chapter is vivid and contains a satisfying resolution, though the whole occasionally frustrates, as it seems designed for an overarching narrative but doesn't quite cohere. Still, the fragmented nature lends a sense of verisimilitude to this painful story of a fractured family history, and readers will be carried along by Ruby's vitality and perseverance. This is well worth a look. (Apr.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Spanning time and multiple points of view, a new voice in indigenous fiction introduces us to Ruby, a bold, complex and unapologetic woman who, adopted by white parents, goes in search of her identity as her life spins wildly out of control.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When we first meet Ruby, a Mâetis woman in her 30s, she's a mess. She's angling to sleep with her therapist while also rekindling an old relationship with a man who was - let's just say - a mistake. As we will soon learn, however, Ruby's story is far broader and deeper than its rollicking, somewhat lighthearted first chapter. This is the story of a woman in search of herself, in every sense. Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby was raised by a white couple who understand little of her Indigenous heritage. Growing up Ruby longs to know where she comes from and who her people are. This is the great mystery that hovers over her life and the book. Through a non-chronological structure, we meet the people who have shaped her life: her adoptive parents; her birth parents and grandparents; the men and women Ruby has been romantically involved with. All these characters form a kaleidoscope of stories, giving Ruby's life dignity and meaning"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

An Indigenous woman adopted by white parents goes in search of her identity in this unforgettable debut novel about family, race, and history.“A passionate exploration of identity and belonging and a celebration of our universal desire to love and be loved.”—Imbolo Mbue, author of Behold the DreamersONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022—The Millions, Electric LitThis is the story of a woman in search of herself, in every sense. When we first meet Ruby, a Métis woman in her thirties, her life is spinning out of control. She’s angling to sleep with her counselor while also rekindling an old relationship she knows will only bring more heartache. But as we soon learn, Ruby’s story is far more complex than even she can imagine.Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby is raised by a white couple who understand little of her Indigenous heritage. This is the great mystery that hovers over Ruby’s life—who her people are and how to reconcile what is missing. As the novel spans time and multiple points of view, we meet the people connected to Ruby: her birth parents and grandparents; her adoptive parents; the men and women Ruby has been romantically involved with; a beloved uncle; and Ruby’s children. Taken together, these characters form a kaleidoscope of stories, giving Ruby’s life dignity and meaning.Probably Ruby is a dazzling novel about a bold, unapologetic woman taking control of her life and story, and marks the debut of a major new voice in Indigenous fiction.