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The Upper Room (A Mama Ruby Novel) by Mary Monroe

  • Author: Mary Monroe
  • Book title: The Upper Room (A Mama Ruby Novel)
  • Category: Literature & Fiction
  • Subcategory: United States
  • Publisher: Kensington; Reprint edition (July 1, 2002)
  • Pages: 352
  • ISBN: 0758200234
  • ISBN13: 978-0758200235
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 121
  • Other formats: lrf docx doc rtf
Maureen, a young black girl torn between the remarkable powers of her mother, the notorious Mama Ruby, whose healing powers and reputation cause people to fear her, and the harsh realities of life, comes of age, in a powerful, evocative tale set in a migrant labor camp in the bayous of the Florida Everglades. Reprint. 50,000 first printing.

7 Reviews
Storytelling in its finest hour, and in all of its glory. There's very little to say, except I loved, loved this story, and book. Normally I don't enjoy themes embedded in the more grisly undercarriages of life, but Mama Ruby makes this one an exception. And yes, the pages smelled great; reminiscent of what those old books used to smell like. Of course it was the mass-market paperback edition I read.

Inclusive of a great cast of characters moved by great bodies of rich autistic dialogue, it didn't take long to take a genuine liking to this steep story entrenched in gripping persuasive writing. Virgil, Hattie, Slim, Fast Black, Mo'reen, and of course Mama Ruby, I couldn't get enough of. I cried laughing throughout. Between `the Lord,' `the Holy Ghost,' and `the devil,' I couldn't make heads or tails out which spirit moved the characters, (or me), more. But God bless that child Mo'reen, it had to be her role that kept the story moving, and me rocking on my sides every time she spoke. I thought if someone `axed' her another question; or she said another thing, I would for sure lose a spleen, in which case this was the other thing. There really is a devilishly deep mystery working around this `cagy' upper room.

This has to be one of the best, if not the best novel I ever read. Over the top fabulously well-written! A highly recommended Must Read.
Mama Ruby is CRAZY off the chain!! She is a huge lady with more religion than most people can claim. She claims to have the blood of Jesus on her but this chick is the Devil incarnate. Her friend Othella has a stillborn baby that comes back to life at Mama Ruby's house. She takes off with the baby she named Maureen and her son Virgil (she shot Virgil's daddy dead) and flees to Goons. She soon turns the town upside down & the townspeople can't live (or die) without her. Anyone who crosses Mama Ruby is someone who wants to meet their maker cause Mama Ruby don't play. She has a trail of bodies to prove it. She has a special room--the Upper Room---where Maureen stays. Only she, Mama Ruby, and Virgil are allowed up there. Any other man would surely bring the Devil to Maureen. But little do they know they don't have to worry about the Devil coming. Virgil & Maureen live with the Devil herself. And that's enough to make anyone crazy.
Unforgettable...that is the best descriptive I can find for "The Upper Room... all other nouns and adjectives escape me when trying to formulate a review of this novel. I am really glad that I read Mama Ruby first, because it made sense (in a way) why she was so out of touch with reality and her "take" on why she felt she was a Christian as well as a Demon.

Moral: Taking a child away from a mother at birth can cause mental instability, and have "fatal" repercussions.

I laughed, cried, and gasped throughout this novel

I just came up with a verb..."RUN and get this novel; you will not forget it!!"
I really enjoyed this book. I laughed throughout and did sometimes wonder where the book was headed. It was unpredictable but had me wanting to continue to read.... Overall it was better than expected and.
This was a wild and unbelievable story about a super human being (Mama Ruby) who was possessed by both good and evil, but mostly evil. Some of the story was pretty far fetched in terms of how the main character behaved and got away with murder (literally) with no consequences. It was entertaining fiiction that kept my attention but the characters were pretty wild and unbelievable, not to mention their stories were very exaggerated. I found it hard to keep up with all the various characters and had to re-read several of the pages to make sure that I understood what was happening. The ending left me hanging too and without closure. It was a tall tale full of black folklore, superstition and foolish fictitious characters. Mama Ruby was a trip!
This is an outstanding book; and funny as all out doors! It had be crying, and I do mean crying laughing. If you have a hard time buying a gift for any man or woman, especially people that have everything they could possibly want, this book is ideal. The story never gets old and it is hilarious!!!! Excellent job!
The best word to describe this book is "different." You will love the old southern "sayings" in this book.
Just to see how devil could one woman could do and page after page she was the devil you never know whom your dealing with
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