Ruby River by Lynn Pruett

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Synopsis

Warm and sensuous, Lynn Pruett's debut novel crackles with the energy of strong, colorful characters whose lives are continually colliding. Chronicling the life of a young widowed mother trying to raise four girls while running a truck stop in the small Alabama town of Maridoches, Ruby River is a poignant, uplifting story by a writer of extraordinary generosity of spirit and earthy wit. In the blistering heat of summer, Hattie Bohannon has just opened a truck stop -- a magnet for transients of questionable background and inclination, some say, and an uneasy presence in tradition-bound, gossipy Maridoches. Hattie is quietly mourning her recently dead husband, and trying to determine the contours of herself alone, but too often her strong-willed daughters -- whose burgeoning sexuality is attracting attention from some of the truck stop patrons -- keep her at loose ends. In a season of unrelenting heat, desire gestates and hovers over Maridoches, threatening the moral equilibrium of the small church town. Then Hattie's oldest daughter, Jessamine, is falsely accused of prostitution, and the reverend conveniently declares war against the immorality of the Bohannons and their establishment. What ensues is a clash of wills and values that will leave no one unaffected. Lynn Pruett deftly interweaves the stories of Hattie, her daughters, and the surrounding community to create a tapestry of individuals desperately trying to deny the conflicting urges of flesh and spirit, progress and tradition. In the manner of beloved contemporary writers such as Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells, Lynn Pruett's glorious tale -- rich with the feel and flavor of the South -- captures the struggle for the very soul of a community suddenly forced to look at itself in a new light. "Lynn Pruett's novel is funny, smart, sexy, and full of heart." -- Lee Smith, author of Fair and Tender Ladies and Saving Grace "Ruby River is brimming with real life ... told with a graceful clarity that will leave readers desperate for more." -- Silas House, author of Clay's Quilt and The Cool of the Day "Lynn Pruett is a hell of a writer and Ruby River is a beautiful novel." -- Tim Parrish, author of Red Stick Men
 

About Lynn Pruett

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Pruett is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and the University of Alabama where she received her MFA.
 
Published September 3, 2013 by Grove Press. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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This brand of southern novel, packed with down-home eccentrics, is often dependent on the strength of its characters, but neither Hattie nor her daughters are ever as interesting as the bit players—Gert, the Reverend’s wife, strange old Jewell Miller, who has stolen Oakley Bohannon’s ashes—leavin...

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