“Bond proves to be a powerful literary force, a writer whose unflinching yet lyrical prose is reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Channeling the lyrical phantasmagoria of early Toni Morrison and the sexual and racial brutality of the 20th century east Texas, Cynthia Bond has created a moving and indelible portrait of a fallen woman… Bond traffics in extremely difficult subjects with a grace and bigheartedness that makes for an accomplished, enthralling read.”—San Francisco Chronicle

"It's tempting to call up Toni Morrison or Alice Walker or Ntozake Shange. It should be done more as compliment than comparison...Bond's is a robustly original voice."
—Christian Science Monitor 

“Reading Cynthia Bond’s Ruby, you can’t help but feel that one day this book will be considered a staple of our literature, a classic. Lush, deep, momentous, much like the people and landscape it describes, Ruby enchants not just with its powerful tale of lifelong quests and unrelenting love, but also with its exquisite language. It is a treasure of a book, one you won’t soon forget.”
—EDWIDGE DANTICAT, author of Claire of the Sea Light

“Pure magic. Every line gleams with vigor and sound and beauty. Ruby somehow manages to contain the darkness of racial conflict and cruelty, the persistence of memory, the physical darkness of the piney woods and strange elemental forces, and weld it together with bright seams of love, loyalty, friendship, laced with the petty comedies of small-town lives. Slow tragedies, sudden light. This stunning debut delivers and delivers and delivers.”
—JANET FITCH, author of White Oleander

“Ruby is a harrowing, hallucinatory novel, a love story and a ghost story about one woman’s attempt to escape the legacy of violence in a small southern town. Cynthia Bond writes with a dazzling poetry that’s part William Faulkner, part Toni Morrison, yet entirely her own. Ruby is encircled by shadows, but incandescent with light.”
—ANTHONY MARRA, author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

“From the first sentence, Cynthia Bond’s unforgettable debut novel, Ruby, took hold of me and it hasn’t let go. Once I began reading I couldn’t stop, awed by Bond’s immense talent. Ruby’s story is one of pain and beauty, damnation and redemption. Cynthia Bond has written a book everyone should read, about the power of love to overcome even the darkest of histories.”
—AMY GREENE, author of Bloodroot

“Debut novelist Bond knows the dark potentialities of her setting and explores them adroitly through each well-drawn character… [T]his book exhibits a dark and redemptive beauty. Bond’s prose is evocative of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, paying homage to the greats of Southern gothic literature.”
—Library Journal (starred)

“[A] powerful, explosive novel. Bond immerses readers in a fully realized world, one scarred by virulent racism and perverted rituals but also redeemed by love.”
—Booklist (starred)

“A stunning debut. Ruby is unforgettable.”
—John Rechy, author of City of Night“

In Ruby, Bond has created a heroine worthy of the great female protagonists of Toni Morrison…and Zora Neale Hurston… Bond’s style of writing is as magical as an East Texas sunrise, with phrases so deftly carved, the reader is often distracted from the brutality described by the sheer beauty of the language.”
—Dallas Morning News

“[E]vocative, affective and accomplished… Bond tells the story of Ruby and Ephram’s lives and their relationship with unflinching honesty and a surreal, haunting quality.”
—Jessica Luther, Texas Observer 

“If you love well-written historical fiction and multifaceted grown-up characters, put Ruby at the top of your beach bag. Cynthia Bond invents two headstrong lovers: solid Ephram Jennings and spirited Ruby Bell. They live in repressive Liberty, Texas, in the oppressive 1950’s. Bond delivers multiple goods with this one. Be sure to keep some hankies near your bedside.”
—Essence

“Cynthia Bond creates a vibrant chorus of voices united by a common struggle… [T]he prose’s lyricism and Ruby’s interaction with the dead call to mind Beloved… While Bond’s characters may sense the inevitability of loss and loneliness, they are also driven by something else, a timid hopefulness that they may find serenity and compassion amid the ghosts who haunt them.”
—The Rumpus

“Written in a Southern Gothic style… The poeticism of the narrative is exquisite, juxtaposing horrific imagery with dreamy evocative lyricism.”
—July Westhale, Lambda Literary

“Literary magic.”
—St. Louis American

“[A] dark and redemptive beauty... Bond’s prose is evocative of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison, paying homage to the greats of Southern gothic literature.”
—Library Journal (starred)

“[A] powerful, explosive novel. Bond immerses readers in a fully realized world, one scarred by virulent racism and perverted rituals but also redeemed by love.”
—Booklist (starred)

“[Ruby] manages fully to explore memory, racism, community and the resilience of the human spirit—no small task—by creating a sort of dream in which human kindness and cruelty are shown as they are: inextricable… This is an unusual, rare and beautiful novel that is meant to be experienced as much as read.”
—Shelf Awareness (starred)

“Cloaked in authenticity, Ruby is unlike anything else out there right now.”
—Windy City Times

“Impeccably crafted… Ruby is undoubtedly the early work of a master storyteller whose literary lyricism is nothing short of pitch perfect.”
—BookPage

“Bracing....Undeniable....The echoes of Alice Walker and Toni Morrison are clear....A very strong first novel that blends tough realism with the appealing strangeness of a fever dream.”
—Kirkus

Reviews