Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Review: The Journey of Ruthie Belle by Imani Wisdom

The Journey of Ruthie Belle by Imani Wisdom

Ruthie Belle is a black woman living in the segregated south whose life is far from easy. Orphaned at an early age, Ruthie does what she must to survive. When she meets Arthur, she feels as if life is finally handing her beauty for the ashes of her past, that is until he shows her a sinister side of himself that leaves her shaken to the core of her being. Uneducated, poor, and living during a time when women had no rights, she found herself stuck in hell. As her situation worsened, Ruthie prayed for death to take her, but she learned some prayers just don’t get answered. With her back against the wall, she makes a hard decision and does the unthinkable, a choice that costs her much and stays with her the remainder of her life.

Ruthie has been a faithful, churchgoing woman her entire life. But even good people have damaged and bruised souls. Her journey into death brings her face to face with all of the issues she’d have rather left during her time on earth. As Ruthie walks through her redemption process, she learns aspects of herself and others that changes the entire way she’s seen life.

In The Journey of Ruthie Belle, Imani Wisdom has written a beautiful, emotionally charged story that grabs a reader’s attention from the very first line. She delves into taboo and often sensitive topics with no fear of reprisal. The novel started off with the feel of being written in a literary fiction genre, but as it progressed it seemed to take on a thriller/suspense feel. Her characters are well developed and the plot makes a reader want to know how it all turns out in the end. There were many twists and turns to the story.  This is the kind of book that makes a reader pause to reflect on one’s own life, while also drawing deep emotional reactions to the characters and situations presented. In this story, things are not as they seem, but that is a part of the charm. Although well-written and wonderfully executed, the story could use a good proofread.

5 well deserved stars

Reviewed by Tumika Patrice Cain

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