ARC BOOK REVIEW: What Happened To Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez

Publication Date: March 7, 2023
Format: Kindle
Genre:  Mystery/Cultural Fiction

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
 241 pages
Buy: Kindle | Audio


The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen‑year‑old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman's hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time?

The years since Ruthy's disappearance haven't been easy on the Ramirez family. It’s 2008, and their mother, Dolores, still struggles with the loss, Jessica juggles a newborn baby with her hospital job, and Nina, after four successful years at college, has returned home to medical school rejections and is forced to work in the mall folding tiny bedazzled thongs at the lingerie store.

After seeing maybe‑Ruthy on their screen, Jessica and Nina hatch a plan to drive to where the show is filmed in search of their long‑lost sister. When Dolores catches wind of their scheme, she insists on joining, along with her pot-stirring holy roller best friend, Irene. What follows is a family road trip and reckoning that will force the Ramirez women to finally face the past and look toward a future—with or without Ruthy in it.


I received this book from the publisher through I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Ruthie has been missing for years. Her older sisters still wondering what happened to her, her mother still struggling with the unknown. While tragic this is an often funny book as each of the Ramirez family struggles to make peace with Ruthys disappearance. 

The bickering and fighting between them all is often laugh out loud funny. The chapters are broken up into each Ramirez member including Ruthy. You do find out what happened to her but that isn't the most important part of the book. What is important is the people who are still there.  Still struggling, still finding their way.

As the family takes a  road trip, the in fighting and Puerto Rican culture fly off the page. As the family pulls together to find Ruthy who they believe is on a tv reality show called "Catfight" they also reconnect and find themselves closer, revealing secrets that have long been kept hidden

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