Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Ruby Jean Upshaw is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. By the time sheâs fifteen, Ruby has developed a taste for fast men and cheap liquor, and not even her preacher daddy can set her straight. Most everyone in the neighborhood knows you donât cross Ruby. Only Othella Mae Cartier, daughter of the town tramp, understands what makes Ruby tick.
When Ruby discovers sheâs in the family way, sheâs scared for the first time in her life. After hiding her growing belly with baggy dresses, Ruby secretly gives birth to a baby girl at Othellaâs house. With few choices, Othella talks Ruby into giving the child away-and with the help of a shocking revelation, convinces Ruby to run off with her to New Orleans.
But nothing can erase Rubyâs memories of the child she lost-or quell her simmering rage at Othella for persuading her to let her precious baby go. If thereâs a fine line between best friend and worst nightmare, Ruby is surely treading it. Because someday, there will be a reckoning. And when it comes, Othella will learn the hard way that no one knows how to exact revenge quite like Ruby Jean Upshawâ¦
Title: Mama Ruby
Author: Mary Monroe
Black Expressions Book Club