By Rita Mae Brown
Publisher: Bantam Books
Bawdy and moving, the ultimate word-of-mouth bestseller, Rubyfruit Jungle is about growing up a lesbian in America–and living happily ever after.
Rubyfruit Jungle was selected by Ceri from Bookmarks and Postcards as part of my running feature, You Choose, I Read. As soon as I read the short, sweet synopsis and skimmed a few reviews, I knew this was kismet. I cannot honestly say how this book has flown under my radar for so long. I am almost ashamed of this fact. But thanks to Ceri, we have been rightfully united. I love this book!
This is a fictional biography of sorts following the life of Molly Bolt from young adolescence into adulthood. Molly realizes at a young age that she is attracted to women and is brilliantly unapologetic for this. Determined to pave her way and set her own rules in a world “run” by men with very narrow views on sexuality, she sets out on a driven but often hard path of self-discovery to obtain her own goals and desires.
“All this overt heterosexuality amused me. If only they knew.”
What I appreciated..
- Molly is beautifully, shamelessly unapologetic about who she is, all that she feels and her own desires. She embodies the traits I love and seek out not only in protagonists but in humans. She simply is and embraces herself.
- Rubyfruit Jungle presents multiple, often still (sadly) relevant themes addressing misconceptions, challenges, and the labeling that the LGBTQ+ community faces as well as being a woman and/or queer in a misogynistic & racist society and even explores adoption. This book covers so much!
- Rita Mae Brown’s writing is colorful, bold and raw. She creates a story that while entertaining is significantly something much more. She intelligently explores the uncomfortable with a sense of wit and humor that will make her story more accessible to audiences.
- The linear narrative provides a steady, solid character development that facilitates an effortless reading experience.
- Rubyfruit Jungle offers a sense of relatability and hope that I admired and benefited from on a personal level. I felt stronger and better for having completed its pages.
“I wished I could get up in the morning and look at the day the way I used to when I was a child. I wished I could walk down the streets and not hear those constant, abrasive sounds from the mouths of the opposite sex. Damn, I wished the world would let me be myself.”
Challenges some may enounter..
- There is one particular relationship I found to be problematic and I feel other readers will as well.
- There are moments Rita Mae’s writing can easily be described as vulgar and graphic. Please expect to encounter sexual content, derogatory language and other possibly uncomfortable topics pertinent to the themes contained within. (As always, if you have any questions before approaching it feel free to message or email me.)
“The most revolutionary thing you can do is to be yourself, to speak your truth, to open your arms to life including the pain. Passion. Find your passions.
Rubyfruit Jungle is brazen and bold. Written during the 70s, it surely should have taken the world by storm! It is a charming and daring coming of age story with a rewarding and spirited protagonist that I am not likely to forget. It has effortlessly earned a spot among my favorites.
Pair Molly’s energetic, feisty attitude with your favorite chai or spiced blend.
Grab a Copy: Amazon.com
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Meet The Blogger Who Selected This Book
Ceri & Bookmarks and Postcards
I’m Ceri. I’m a bookworm, an English teacher, and a tea addict. I’ve recently moved back to Wales after spending 6 years living abroad in Mexico, South Korea, and Singapore. I used to blog about my adventures overseas and expat life. Now I blog about what I’m reading, which is usually a lot of literary fiction, classics, and non-fiction.
I picked Rubyfruit Jungle because it was the first LGBT-themed book written from a woman’s point of view that I truly connected with. I wish I’d read this book while I was growing up. It explores ideas of gender, sexuality, social expectations, and adoption, and I love Molly’s hilarious & unapologetic narrative voice. This really is a favourite of mine and a perfectly-timed read for Pride month!