Pump Up Your Book is pleased to bring you Jennifer H. Westall’s HEALING RUBY virtual book tour March 2 – 27!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I adore historical Christian fiction, so I was excited to read this. As I began reading, I was a bit skeptical as the beginning is a bit unusual, but almost instantly, I was definitely hooked. This doesn’t have the typical “Christian” book pitfalls–no sugary-sweet romance and no Christian platitudes nor stuffing religion down the reader’s throat. I was quite pleased to read a more realistic story that was well-written and kept my full attention along the way. Additionally, the faith of the characters was woven into the very heart of the story.
There is no content advisory for this book–it is truly Christian. Yes, bad things happen, including violence and racism, but nothing is graphically portrayed. I was intrigued to discover that the author had based this story somewhat on her grandmother’s life–perhaps that is why the story was so captivating. Seeing the Depression through the eyes of Ruby was quite fascinating and gave me quite a different perspective on things. This is by far one of the best books I have read in awhile. Authentic and insipring! I sincerely hope to read more from this author very soon!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not financially compensated, and all opinions are 100 percent mine.
Ruby Graves, a young girl in Depression-era Alabama, faces the hardships of poverty and loss with as much faith as she can muster. At only the age of thirteen, she’s already lost a younger brother to illness, and now faces losing both her father and the boy who’s stealing her heart to illnesses as well. Armed with her beloved Scriptures, she prays daily for their healing, only to have her tender faith shattered by her father’s death.
Through her pain, she’s able to connect with her long-lost Uncle Asa, who’s mere presence at his brother’s funeral brings murmurs of a scandalous past involving her parents and a prominent local pastor, Irwin Cass. When Ruby discovers that one of Asa’a many secrets is an ability to heal, and that she may be next in line for the “gift,” she vows to find the faith that has eluded her so far, a faith that could mean never losing loved ones again.
But faith and doubt can’t reside in the same heart, not according to her father, and doubt is Ruby’s constant companion. As she struggles to find the true meaning of faith, she’s opposed at every turn by the pastor who would see her family destroyed and a community that can’t see deeper than the color of one’s skin. Through her search for a faith that could move mountains and a true understanding of her gift, can Ruby trust in a God that may require the ultimate sacrifice?
“A fast-paced story that will leave readers wondering what’s next for Ruby Graves. This soulful, often poignant novel explores difficult subjects such as death, racism and religious hypocrisy, while still remaining hopeful. One of its greatest strengths is its cast of well-drawn secondary characters, including the…vengeful preacher who tries to thwart Ruby at every turn. Ruby’s unlikely friendship with a cast-out African-American woman and her child is a particularly bright spot in this often heavy novel.”
– Kirkus Reviews
For More Information
- Healing Ruby is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Jennifer Westall dives into Christian characters to explore her own questions of faith. Inspired by the life of her grandmother, Healing Ruby(2014) is the first in the Healing Ruby series, which delves into the mysteries of faith healing. She’s also the author of Love’s Providence (2012), a contemporary Christian romance that navigates the minefield of dating and temptation. She resides in southwest Texas with her husband and two boys, where she homeschools by day and writes by night, thus explaining those pesky bags under her eyes.
For More Information
- Visit Jennifer H. Westall’s website.
- Connect with Jennifer on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Jennifer at Goodreads.
- Visit Jennifer’s blog.