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Saving Ruby King

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Saving Ruby King

A Novel

By Catherine Adel West
Narrated by Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons / 10 hours 14 minutes

Forever and to the end. That’s what they say instead of I love you.”

Bookseller recommendation

Saving Ruby King

“Saving Ruby King is a slow burn—a richly woven three-generation history of two families on the south side of Chicago, bound forever by trauma and religion. A tragic murder in the present unearths secret wrongdoings of the past. Intergenerational trauma is a primary focus, and the given circumstances allow readers to both hate and empathize with nearly all of the main characters. The full cast—including the omniscient church building—narrates the audiobook beautifully. Readers will learn that the bonds of true friendship can withstand anything. Trigger warnings: domestic violence, incest, rape.”

Raven Book Store image Mary, Raven Book Store

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2020 by The Every Girl, PureWow, Book Riot, Library Journal and more.

When Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their home in Chicago’s South Side, the police dismiss it as another act of violence in a black neighborhood. But for Ruby, it’s a devastating loss that leaves her on her own with her violent father. While she receives many condolences, her best friend, Layla, is the only one who understands how this puts Ruby in jeopardy.

Their closeness is tested when Layla’s father, the pastor of their church, demands that Layla stay away. But what is the price for turning a blind eye? In a relentless quest to save Ruby, Layla uncovers the murky loyalties and dangerous secrets that have bound their families together for generations. Only by facing this legacy of trauma head-on will Ruby be able to break free.

An unforgettable debut novel, Saving Ruby King is a powerful testament that history doesn’t determine the present and the bonds of friendship can forever shape the future.


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“Catherine Adel West's stunning debut novel explores the dark and cobwebbed corners that lurk in the history of two families. These long-buried secrets both bind and separate them through several generations, as they struggle to rise above. The murder of Ruby King's mother is the catalyst that forces the past to the surface and holds the key to forgiveness, hope, understanding and the possibility of a new beginning.”

Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store

“Catherine Adel West's Saving Ruby King is by turns heartrending and tender. It pulls us into the lives of its characters—each more complex than the next—and shows us the power they've found in their friendships and in their faith. Saving Ruby King is an excellent selection for readers looking for a story filled with grit and hope in Chicago.”

Jenny Clines, Seminary Co-op Bookstore

“A compelling story, unique perspectives, and lyrical prose--Saving Ruby King is a wonderful debut full of shadows and secrets, truths and lies. Catherine Adel West is a voice for the invisible; her words a beacon in these divisive times.”

Samantha Kolber, Bear Pond Books

About the Author

Catherine Adel West is an editor living and working in Chicago. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Her work is published in Black Fox, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Gay Magazine. Saving Ruby King is her first novel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @cawest329. Saving Ruby King is her debut novel.


“A daring, dynamic story. A multilayered love letter to South Side Chicago's African American faith-based community.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Incorporating compelling perspectives, this is a powerful story of family, faith and friendship.”

MS. Magazine

“In the midst of widespread protests and calls to end racial injustice, the conversations and understanding tackled in Saving Ruby King are all significant reflections of this country’s reality today.”

Parade Magazine

Narrator Kim Staunton, Imani Parks, Ron Butler, Adam Lazarre-White, Lloyd Roberson II & Terra Strong Lyons
ISBN 9781488208751
Length 10 hours 14 minutes
Language English
Publisher Harlequin Audio
Publication date
Edition Unabridged
Genres Fiction & Literature
Libro.fm rank #1,483 Overall
Genre rank #652 in Fiction & Literature

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