Mama Ruby by Mary Monroe 

submitted by Damera

“When I get involved with a boy, I’m goin’ to be the one callin’ shots. When I get married, my husband can be the head of the house all he wants. But I’m goin’ to be the neck, and the neck is what controls every move the head makes.”


Ruby Jean Upshaw was a piece of work. She was a preacher’s daughter raised in a household with 6 older sisters. In fact, she was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter. Ruby raised a lot of hell and still managed to be seen in her parent’s eyes as nothing but an angel. Ruby’s best friend, Othello, in the meantime, was the daughter of the town tramp and no one let her forget it.

Through their years of growing up, there was a baby born out of wedlock, travels to New Orleans and Florida, work in a whorehouse, fieldwork, husbands, babies and murder. Ruby always remembered the baby she was forced to give away and never truly let Othello forget that she blamed her. Changing her name to Mama Ruby, her life begins to spiral out of control in ways she never imagined. What was she going to do?

I picked up this book because the main character’s were also the main focus of Ms. Monroe’s book The Upper Room. When I first picked that one up, I felt that the storyline was a little bit rushed. That’s why I was happy to pick up Mama Ruby and really delve into her background. I got to find out how she became the person she was in the other book.

I can’t wait to read the next title in the series, The Lost Daughters. I already have it in my bag!

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