The Meanderings Of Ruby Stewart
By Monica Handy
Ruby Stewart works her way up through the ranks of an advertising firm, encounters obstacles on her way, and finds romance.
Short story. Basic plot. I thought, however, the author’s creativity to push a perfume ad was pretty good.
Ruby Stewart: black, 45, secretary
James Claiborne: a senior partner in a Chicago advertising agency, around 6’4”, slender
Isabella Vanderpomb: owns a perfume business, black hair
Madeline: Ruby’s future immediate boss (after the first chapter or so), 60, pug nose
Alondra Ventura: owns a beauty salon, Puerto Rican
I think is a nice cast with, surprisingly, enough information to get a picture of each, and roles each plays. If I were to give a fault, I would have thought Ruby tolerated a racist boyfriend far too long.
Good voices and words and sentences written in those voices. Again, if I were to give fault, Claiborne gets a bit wordy. Not long sentences, but his ‘boss’ nature falters in a few places.
No profanity. A few punctuation errors, a capitalization error and a misspelling.
First person from Ruby’s POV
Chapters are titled and although some of them are days of the week, there is more time passage.
The only real problem I have with this, other than it being a short story (and here it could have been fleshed out a bit more for some more details), is the internal dialogue from Ruby. Maybe this belongs in the above section but I don’t feel like cutting and pasting so I’ll keep it here.
First off, I will give credit to the author for having Ruby explain that she has these lengthy pieces of dialogue. They are part of her personality. This gives a bit of credence to when these pop up, which is are often. However, I don’t think some of them work to the story’s advantage. I’d say about 60-40 giving the working internals the majority percentage. There was one particular scene where the dialogue ran on and on. This clearly didn’t work. Others could have been told by the ‘Ruby narrator’.
So, a quick read, well thought out plot. Good characters and character development. A story where the good guys, er, gals, win.
I’m giving the rank I am because of the minor errors (with a short story, these need to be caught) and the internal dialogues that don’t work for me, but it is not a bad story and I liked it.