AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

Release Date:
 June 16, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Audio
Format: Audio
Length: 10 hours 14 minutes
Narrator: Kim StauntonImani ParksRon ButlerAdam Lazarre-WhiteLloyd Roberson IITerra Strong Lyons
Genre: Fiction, African-American History
Buy: Audible | Kindle


When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it’s a devastating loss that leaves her on her own with her violent father. While she receives many condolences, her best friend, Layla, is the only one who understands how this puts Ruby in jeopardy. 

Their closeness is tested when Layla’s father, the pastor of their church, demands that Layla stay away. But what is the price for turning a blind eye? In a relentless quest to save Ruby, Layla uncovers the murky loyalties and dangerous secrets that have bound their families together for generations. Only by facing this legacy of trauma head-on will Ruby be able to break free. 

An unforgettable debut novel, Saving Ruby King is a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present and the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future. 


This story gripped me from the beginning.  Beautifully written and narrated this book transforms you to a small church in Chicago where people often turn the other way trying not to get into other people's business, where secrets run deep and families get torn apart. Alternating between characters and time periods (even the church building has a voice) this story about the destruction secrets cause is utterly riveting.  Starting in the past secrets create consequences that these characters all have to live with.  It isn't until the ending that the hardest secret is revealed and as the secrets crumble the characters find strength in truth and an acceptance as the anger and resentment fall away.  

There are some hard story lines in this book but ultimately its about living your truth, taking responsibility and forgiveness.  Set in modern times, violence and unfair treatment of black people by the police is always a concern and plays a part in the ongoing secrets that get hidden away only to cause more problems. A fabulous story from a new black author,  I highly recommend. 

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