“Classic town gossip, the kind typically served up with strong coffee or sweet iced tea. . . . Pruett is one of those good-natured Southern writers who draw you in with their gentle drawl. . . . What is surprising is the grace with which Pruett orchestrates what, in lesser hands, could be a thudding farce.”Mark Rozzo, The Los Angeles Times Book Review
978-0-8021-4039-5 • $13.00 • Paperback • Feb. 2004
Crackling with the energy and spark of strong, colorful characters whose lives are continually colliding, comes a poignant, uplifting story by a writer of extraordinary generosity of spirit and earthy wit
Hailed as “a triumph” by The Lexington Herald-Leader, Ruby River drops us into a small town during a blistering Alabama summer. Hattie Bohannon has just opened a truck stopa magnet for transients of questionable background and inclination, some say, and an uneasy presence in tradition-bound, gossipy Maridoches.
Hattie is quietly mourning her recently dead husband and trying to determine the contours of herself alone, but too often her strong-willed daughterswhose burgeoning sexuality is attracting attention from the truck-stop patronskeep her at loose ends. In a season of unrelenting heat, desire gestates and hovers over Maridoches, threatening the moral equilibrium of the small church-town. Then Hattie’s oldest daughter, Jessamine, is falsely accused of prostitution, and the reverend conveniently declares war against the immorality of the Bohannons and their establishment. What ensues is a clash of wills and values that will leave no one unaffected.
Lynn Pruett deftly weaves the struggles of Hattie, her daughters, and members of the community into a tapestry of individuals desperately trying to deny the conflicting urges of flesh and spirit, progress and tradition. In the manner of beloved contemporary writers such as Fannie Flagg and Rebecca Wells, Lynn Pruett’s glorious talerich with the feel and flavor of the Southcaptures the struggle for the very soul of a community suddenly forced to look at itself in a new light.