Ruby’s mother is found murdered in their home leaving Ruby alone with her violent father. People in their community and church have known for years what Alice and Ruby have suffered through but no one helped. Ruby’s best friend Layla however is determined not to sit back and watch something happen to her friend because she knows the danger Ruby is in being left alone with her father. As Layla does everything she can to save her friend she discovers secrets that connect her family and Ruby’s family for generations. Layla’s father and pastor of their church is determined to keep Layla away from the King family trauma but his daughter isn’t like him she cant just turn a blind eye while her friend’s life is in danger. As Ruby tries to save herself she has to face her trauma and the effects it’s had on her so she can move on.
I’m not even sure how to feel after reading this book, it was such a heartbreaking story. There was so much trauma within the King family. I wanted so bad to hate Lebanon for the abuse and trauma Alice and Ruby suffered because of him but when I learned about the trauma and abuse he suffered I felt for him. The saying “hurt people hurt people” is real. Lebanon suffered so bad as a child that he didn’t know how to love his own daughter and it broke my heart. Catherine Adel West did a great job with making the protagonist relatable and even when I didn’t want to feel any sympathy for them I just couldn’t help but understanding how they became who they were.
Poor Ruby was so broken it was sad, all she wanted was to be free and happy. I loved the friendship she had with Layla. Even when Ruby tried to push Layla away she was not going for it. Layla went against her own family to make sure Ruby was safe and it warmed my heart that Ruby had someone like that in her life. We all need a friend like Layla who will fight for you till the end. What was also sad in this book was the amount of people who knew this family was suffering but never got involved and while I know people wont leave a situation no matter how bad it is until they are ready it still made me mad that Layla was the only person with enough courage to fight for Ruby.
My heart broke while reading this book, it’s a great read but the generational trauma was hard to read about. So many people deal with generational trauma everyday which is why this book was so relatable. I liked how the church had a voice in this book. We always say “If the walls could talk” and the church was spilling all the tea, I thought it was weird at first but then found myself enjoying the church’s prospective. This was a great mystery read and the plot twist caught me by surprise because I just knew I knew who the killer was.
If you can handle heartbreaking traumatic stories then this is a good book that I would recommend.
CW-child molestation, child abuse, domestic abuse, and murder