Mini Audiobook Review: Probably Ruby by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Probably Ruby, the debut novel by Lisa Bird-Wilson, about a woman who is in search of her identity as an Indigenous woman.

PROBABLY RUBY by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Publisher: Random House Audio
Publication Date: April 23, 2020
Genre: Contemporary, Literary Fiction

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An Indigenous woman adopted by white parents goes in search of her identity in this unforgettable debut novel about family, race, and history.

This is the story of a woman in search of herself in every sense. When we first meet Ruby, a Métis woman in her thirties, her life is spinning out of control. She’s angling to sleep with her counselor while also rekindling an old relationship she knows will only bring more heartache. But as we soon learn, Ruby’s story is far more complex than even she can imagine.

Given up for adoption as an infant, Ruby is raised by a white couple who understand little of her Indigenous heritage. This is the great mystery that hovers over Ruby’s life—who her people are and how to reconcile what is missing. As the novel spans time and multiple points of view, we meet the people connected to Ruby: her birth parents and grandparents; her adoptive parents; the men and women Ruby has been romantically involved with; a beloved uncle; and Ruby’s children. Taken together, these characters form a kaleidoscope of stories, giving Ruby’s life dignity and meaning.

Probably Ruby is a dazzling novel about a bold, unapologetic woman taking control of her life and story and marks the debut of a major new voice in Indigenous fiction.

My Thoughts

Let me start this by saying that I *almost* put this book down after the first few pages. Just a warning, this story starts with some pretty crass sexual references. I’m very glad I kept listening, though, because this book was absolutely fantastic.

I loved Ruby and her journey to seek out her Indigenous roots. Weirdly, I was reading this book alongside a Kristan Higgins book that also dealt with adoption, and I myself am adopted. I have Indigenous blood in me from my birth mother, so this whole experience of reading these books has been strangely relatable and thought-provoking.

I loved how the story was laid out, with Ruby being the main narrator, but the time was jumping around. It was a little difficult while listening to the audiobook to keep track, but I managed. We hear about Ruby’s story, her birth mother, her father, etc. and see them on their own journeys, if only in bits and pieces.

This book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me. Some parts were a real challenge to get through, but at the same time, it opened my eyes to a whole new perspective. Throughout the pages, there were these brilliant insights about fitting in, finding your place, longing to understand your roots, and that deep-seated, often unconscious fear of being alone.

Lisa Bird-Wilson’s debut novel truly left an impression on me. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for her future works because if this is just the beginning, I can only imagine what she has in store for us. It’s a story that resonates and one that will stay with me for a long, long time.

If you enjoy Indigenous reads, you might also enjoy this blog post: June is Indigenous History Month: Celebrate With These Important Indigenous Reads.

What other readers think:

Have you read Probably Ruby? What were your thoughts? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

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