Excellent Literary Fiction

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"Sometimes telling the truth is stupid. Don't you know that? Sometimes you just keep your mouth shut, nod your head, do what you got to do, and go on about your business....Don't tell the truth unless you're ready to tell it. It's called being strategic."
~ Jennie Williams

That is very much what The Rib King is about really, strategy. Doing what you can and living life in the smartest way you know how given whatever circumstances you're in, like living and trying to make a living in the early 1900s as a Black man or woman.

The Rib King is told in two parts with the first beginning in the year 1914 from Mr. Sitwell, the groundskeeper's side of the story and the second, set 10 years later, telling Jennie Williams', the maid's side. They initially work together in the same house as servants to a prominent white family, the Barclay's until an unexpected turn is taken which threw me for a second but Hubbard made it all come together in Jennie's section.

Ladee Hubbard delivers a truly significant novel that hits on themes of vengeance and exploitation that left me feeling deeply connected to the characters and the story especially as a Black woman myself. I must admit to a slowish start for me but the second half thoroughly made up for that. I would recommend this for all those interested in a literary, historical fiction novel that is sure to lead to deep discussions about race, class, duty and the difference between right and wrong during an era so rarely written about in fiction.

"...we are all associated with the Rib King, whether we like it or not."
~Dr. Frederick Smith
(I felt that so hard).