Brunch at Ruby’s had me captivated from the first page. DL White brings her three protagonists; Renee, Maxine and Debra, to life with distinct voices and vivid personalities. Best friends for thirty years, they’ve watched each other grow, accompanied each other through the ups and downs of life and always returning to Ruby’s diner in their home town of Atlanta.
I loved it. Beginning with a poorly-thought-through affair, the book takes us through a period in these women’s lives so turbulent that they each stand to lose what they love the most.
Of the relationships explored in this novel, certainly the most poignant is that between Renee and her father, Bernard, as they struggle with his early onset Alzheimer’s. We watch as Renee watches his condition deteriorate and as she tries to make room for herself in her own life.
Ultimately, Brunch at Ruby’s is about three different love stories – the best part. Yet at the same time it explores the multi-faceted nature of a modern woman, in this case a black woman’s, experience as a mother, lover, carer and entrepreneur.
The book’s strength is how well each of the main characters personalities are developed and conveyed. Its weak point is a needlessly drawn out ending. Nonetheless, this is a novel that deserves a much wider audience.