Book Review: Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

I’m seriously reconsidering this Fallback Friday idea. If the old books are all like this one, I don’t think I’ll be able to handle it.

This book was a flat out mess. I’m sitting here so angry after reading it.

I did not like Molly Bolt. Not even a little bit. 

This story follows Molly Bolt from when she was 11 all the way until her mid twenties. We read her life in sectioned off parts. Her childhood, her junior high/high school, and young adult college time frames. She was a detestable brat throughout it all.

I think I’m supposed to think that Molly was brave and ahead of her time. There is probably supposed to be a lesson in this story about being yourself and not conforming to what others expect or think of you. Maybe I’m even supposed to be swayed to think that we aren’t meant for monogamy and we should all explore free love.

I read someplace that this book kind of made the author her the only lesbian in that era. And that just saddens me. Because if everyone read this drivel, then it is no wonder why people have untoward ideas about homosexuals. The entire book romanticizes infidelity and promiscuity. Molly diddles and sexes with anybody she comes in contact with. Without any type of emotional connection whatsoever. Completely disconnected. And we are supposed to believe that she would turn down some rich woman archaeologist that would fund the only thing important to her? Sure thing. The worst part was when Molly declares that she is pretty much OK with incest!

I know Rita Mae Brown could not have been going for any type of positive representation with this book. It felt more like she was going for shock factor. Well done. Because this was well and truly shocking to me. 

I wish we could have had a more positive lesbian role model protagonist in the early best selling lesbian novel. Maybe we wouldn’t have had to undo so many negative stereotypes along the way.

And for the record, this does not stand up over time. At all. I didn’t understand a multitude of references to politicians, artists, actors, etc. There was some slang I’ve never heard in my life. It had openly racist and homophobic dialogue. Generalized bigotry that was prevalent back then.

Seriously do not recommend.

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