Two south side Chicago families are bound together by a violence-infused past. Ruby’s mother, Alice King, has been murdered. Her father, Lebanon King, is an abusive man who endured a terrible childhood. Her best friend, Layla, has always tried to protect Ruby from Lebanon even though her own father and Ruby’s father have been close friends since childhood. And their mothers were friends before them.
In this moving debut novel, Saving Ruby King (Park Row Books), Catherine Adel West gives each character a voice, but the voice that binds all of their lives together is that of the Calvary Hope Christian Church, objective witness to the complex ties between Ruby’s grandmother and her two friends, between Ruby’s father and Layla’s father, and between Ruby and Layla. In precise, lyrical writing, West delves into each of their secrets while exploring intergenerational trauma, racial injustice in Chicago, and the power of friendship.
Catherine Adel West was born and raised in Chicago, IL where she currently resides. She graduated with both her Bachelors and Masters of Science in Journalism from the University of Illinois – Urbana. Her work is published in Black Fox Literary Magazine, Five2One, Better than Starbucks, Doors Ajar, 805 Lit + Art, The Helix Magazine, Lunch Ticket and Gay Magazine. In between writing and traveling, Catherine works as an editor and is currently obsessed with watching old episodes of Law and Order: Criminal Intent, especially the ones with Vincent D’Onofrio.