Rubyfruit Jungle

Rating: 0

Rita Mae Brown

I'd heard fairly good things about Rita Mae Brown and never read anything by her, so when I saw this book I thought I would give it a try. I liked it okay as a light read. There isn't anything really deep going on here and the writing didn't do anything for me, but it was fun enough.

The book is about a girl/young woman who wants to get beyond the life that her family has been stuck in in a small southern town, both because she is intelligent and wants to make something of her life and because she is gay, which her home community can't really handle.

At the start of the book we see the woman growing up in a household without a lot of aspirations for her and that is going through some difficult times. She is emotionally distanced from her family as well. She doesn't have many friends in school, but she finally makes a friend, who she ends up falling in love with and the two girls begin to have a physical relationship. The combination of this and the girl's successes in high school convince her to go to college, which she wins a scholarship to do. Ultimately, she ends up in New York City, supporting herself as a waitress while trying to get a degree as a film student (an entirely male program at the time, with all of the student films seeming to be pornography showing awful things happening to women) and looking for relationships with women who aren't using her as an experiment or as a "kept" toy.

I guess that I liked this book okay, but an awful lot happened and the book just flew through it. There were times when I wanted to know what the girl was thinking and why she did things, but everything just kept moving. We got to see the highlights of the plot, and a few vignettes to give an idea of what day-to-day was like, but that was it. There wasn't a lot of development of characters other than the protagonist. It was like reading someone's diary, both in style and in content. I guess I give the book a '0'. I enjoyed it, but didn't think that it was great.


Review written July 1999.


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