Rubyfruit Jungle | Rita Mae Brown

One sentence:

Pretty decent fictional memoirish bildungsroman.

Three thoughts:

  • I kind of despite the way kids are written in literature. It’s so rare to find an author who can portray kids the way they actually are.
  • I was super into the whole Mad Men part of the book, where Molly works in an office. Fuck the patriarchy and all that.
  • I found it odd that Molly really never questioned her own feelings, despite being told by literally every influence in her life that her feelings were wrong. Like, shouldn’t she have faced a bit of inner turmoil at some point?


  • Character: 4/5. Molly was great, in theory. Aside from what I mentioned previously (that her entire life she just inexplicably knew that she was right and everyone else was wrong), she was a fun character. Carrie was heartbreaking in her realism, and the fizzled out friendship between Molly and Leroy made me sad.
  • Plot: 3/5. As with any bildungsroman, there often feels like a lot of lead-up with no climax. Parts were really slow and other parts were great. I wish the ending hadn’t been so abrupt.
  • Setting: 4/5. The descriptions of Florida were vivid and painted an amazingly accurate picture of both of the geographical location as well as a life of poverty. The New York scenes seemed as though they could have taken place anywhere, and I feel like that could have been a bit more interesting.
  • Style/Voice: 2/5. I hate, hate, hate children in books most of the time. The dialogue is usually unrealistic and in this case, Molly had this habit of saying EVERYBODY’S NAME OVER AND OVER and it just took away from the story because it was so distracting. All of the dialogue gets a bit heavy-handed and overdone.
  • Theme: 5/5. There were a lot of heavy themes addressed in this book: gender roles, sexuality as part of your identity, the struggles of living in a capitalist system, the entire patriarchal system, ETC. All well done.

Overall Rating: 3.5

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