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Leaving: A Novel

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  83 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Winner of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award
Pushcart Editors' Prize Nominee

In 1959, newly-widowed and pregnant Ruby Washington and her thirteen-year-old half brother, Easton, board a bus in rural South Carolina, destined for Oakland, California. There, far from the violent events that forced her to flee her home, Ruby hopes to make a new life for her family.

Ruby gives birth to
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 9th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  83 ratings  ·  14 reviews

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Bobbi Duncan
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Gripping, heartbreaking, hopeful. This book took me on an emotional roller coaster with its complex characters. I'm a sucker for family sagas, and the timelines switching back and forth were easy to follow. The book overall was well written. Never a dull moment-I was always intrigued. I love the different nuances that can make you hate and pity a character at the same time. I wish there were more literary works by Mr. Dry--truly one for the ages. ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Inspiring story line, showing how hardships really shapes ones life. The writting was well done, and despite the jumping between storylines, I was still able to follow along. Highly recommend!
Mocha Girl
Oct 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Leaving is Richard Dry's debut novel and it is excellent!! It is the story of Ruby Washington's family - three generations and their actions and reactions to survive against all odds. In 1959, Ruby, poor and pregnant, hastily leaves small town Norma, South Carolina for Oakland, California with her younger half brother (Easton) in tow. She moves in with her father and his lover and finds work as a seamstress. Dry then blends in the political and social happenings of the time and we watch how Ruby ...more
BreeAnn (She Just Loves Books)
What I Loved: The stories follow three generations of a family in American really giving the reader a full view of the initial events in the timeline and the reactions to event caused, even generations later.

How I Felt: This book is full of sadness. This is not a book meant to make a person happy, however, I felt everything the author intended us to feel.

My reasons for 3 stars: The book jumped around a lot in time. The writer tells the story in bits and pieces so that each story is in chronolog
Milan Homola
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
Wow this book is gripping, depressing, but most all unveiling ( for a middle class white man). It speaks of multiple generations within one African American family and tells life experiences, pain, and despair that I know nothing about. I felt ignorant as I read the book and yet it felt so real. I find myself driving the neighborhood I live in ( not too far off from some depicted in this novel) and I wonder are there kids sitting in some apartment going through what Love and Lil Pit went through ...more
Cissy Swiernik
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A heart wrenching and realistic portrayal of the African American experience through the eyes of three generations of an impoverished family. Jumps through time between the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s, and includes excerpts from writings during slavery. Compassionately and articulately written, detailing harrowing accounts of racism and poverty. May be considered dark or depressing to some, but a very important read for anyone that seeks a deeper understanding of American history.

The author does an
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
This book was a nice read. It was based in my hometown, so I felt extremely connected to the story. However, the dialogue and whys, whens, and hows of the characters actions didnt flow. I didnt understand the intentions of the characters and the dialogue seemed awkward and forced. I wonder if the author being white, writing a story about Black life, could have something to do with this misstep in the book. Other than that, it was a good book.
Loved loved loved this is a moving saga of a family through the years and how the sins of the fathers or ancestors really do influence the present generation and how sometimes its possible to change. This book shifts perception and time periods but is never hard to follow and impossible to forget. Love E, Lil Pit and Ruby will stay with you long after the book is done and that is the mark of a great read..Dont miss this one
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazing.& That Is All.
Mills College Library
Fiction D798 2003
Kylie Briggs
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
I first read this in my California Ethnic Studies Lit course. Very well written.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is my favorite novel right now. I read it in school a couple of years ago and got to meet the author. It's neat because parts of the story take place in the East Bay: El Cerrito and Berkeley. ...more
Highly recommend!
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