Friday, 22 March 2019

Book Review: Rubyfruit Jungle; Rita Mae Brown.

Another chosen read for the Podcast, and this one was certainly very different to my usual read. I don't read too many modern classics, especially set in the seventies, and I can't recall any recently that were LGBTQ+ fiction. 

SOURCE: Bought
TYPE: E-Read

TITLE: Rubyfruit Jungle
AUTHOR: Rita Mae Brown
PUBLISHER: Vintage Digital
PAGES: 242
GENRE: Classics, LGBT+, Adult Fiction

RATING: 3.5/5 Stars

Molly Bolt is a young lady with a big character. Beautiful, funny and bright, Molly figures out at a young age that she will have to be tough to stay true to herself in 1950s America. 

In her dealings with boyfriends and girlfriends, in the rocky relationship with her mother and in her determination to pursue her career, she will fight for her right to happiness. Charming, proud and inspiring, Molly is the girl who refuses to be put in a box.

What I Liked:
  • I really liked the MC, Molly. Lesbian MCs are hard to come by, but even more so, I really enjoyed her sense of humour (even if it was a little dated) and her stubborn, spunky attitude. She wasn't afraid to stand up for her dreams or her sexuality, and I really admired that about her!
  • I also liked some of the emotional parts of this book. Honestly, the scene towards the end between Molly and Carrie was pretty heartstring-tugging and I really liked the way that it was written. The book felt pretty ahead of it's time in the way that it portrayed Molly's coming out story and her feminist ideologies.
What I Disliked:
  • I guess I felt that it was a bit weird that every girl that Molly met was also a lesbian. Not just a lesbian, but a lesbian stereotype. And some of them were a little damaging, while others - such as the homophobic mother with strange role-play fetishes and a desire to sleep with her daughter - were just perplexing! This is where things still felt a bit dated in this book, and some of the dub-con sexual situations had me feeling pretty uncomfortable.
Overall Conclusion:
The 1970s wasn't all that long ago, and even so this book was oddly modern in some of it's ideas, and truly dated in others. I found that Brown flitted between creating some truly refreshing complex characters, and falling heavily into cringeworthy stereotypes. I found that the plot lacked a little bit too with no real ending (the book just sort of...stopped). It had a lot of personality though, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much this read appealed to me considering that I don't read a lot like it!

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