Sunday, 17 August 2008

Sunday Salon: A Review - Ruby Red by Linzi Glass

Well, in my earlier post I claimed I would be spending the afternoon starting Gut Symmetries, I had a killer headache but attempted to start it and quickly put it down, it seemed very sci-fi and like it needed a lot of concentration, which wasn't something I could give it this afternoon. So I picked up the next Carnegie short-listed book that I had on the pile, Ruby Red.
I'd picked this book up from the library ages ago and had forgotten what it was supposed to be about, I took a quick glance at the cover and thought it would be something light-hearted. I was definately to be proven wrong. Ruby is a girl living in South Africa during apartheid, her parents are wealthy, white and opposed to the forced division and inequality between the races. Her father is a lawyer, who works to protect Black people who have been treated unfairly as well as a member of the underground political group looking to change the views of society. Her mother owns an art gallery, in which any art, if it is good, is displayed and sold, the colour of the artists skin is not judged just the work they produce.
Ruby, attends a private school and has to keep her home life and school life completely seperate, no friends can come over for tea, no sleep overs etc, it is far to dangerous to let people know about her parents politics.
Two boys enter Ruby's life who affect it forever. The young black artist Julian, who has to move from the black township to live secretly inside her house, and her new boyfriend an Affrikans white boy, whose family believe deeply in the segregation of the two races.
Ruby gains love, understanding and identity but loses friends, her education and a whole lot more.
This YA novel is very thoughtful and well written, the politics surrounding apartheid are shown clearly for a young audience who grew up after it had finished, and who probably have very little knowledge of it aside from Nelson Mandela. Ruby is believable, the only part I felt that could have been stronger was the depiction of her private school, it seemed too cliched.

Unread Authors 5 of 6
YA Challenge Book 8 of 12

If you have read this book please leave a link to your review here and I'll add it too my post.


gautami tripathy said...

I like reading about Africa. I think I will check this out.

Do check the following review. You might like it:
SS 1: Review of The Dark Child

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I really disliked this book. I thought it over trivialised and romanticised a really appalling situation. And the notion that they were going to find freedom from colour prejudice by escaping to the US in the 1970s seemed to me to be ignoring the facts. Still, it would be a really boring world if we all enjoyed the same books, wouldn't it?

John Mutford said...

Hi Katrina, I'm working on the next update for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge and just wanted to touch base with the participants to see how they were progressing. I currently have you at 0 reads (which is fine, still loads of time left). Just wondering if this is accurate, and if not which books you've read for the Challenge so far.

Hussain said...

how do i download this book????