Diamond Ruby by Joseph Wallace was an amazing novel that had me hooked right from the beginning. This book is actually partially based on a true story about a girl named Jackie Mitchell, who pitched for the Chattanooga Lookouts and struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Joseph Wallace puts great detailed language into his novel, so that you can really hear the roar of the crowd, or smell the New York air. “The crowd erupted into deafening cheers.” Wallace does a fantastic job with the main character Ruby, who is always on her toes and ready to pitch a great game or run from a mob of gangsters. Headstrong and unbelievably smart, Ruby is wound tightly into this complex story. “Before she could even take a breath, he had yanked her to her feet by one arm and shoved her into the dressing room. As he slammed the door behind them, Ruby heard Allie start to wail.” This book is very deep and sometimes kind of dark. Ruby has to make tons and tons of decisions where either way someone could possibly get hurt, or either way she could lose her job. But there are also many happy parts to this book, like Ruby’s first game with the Typhoon’s or when Ruby takes the girls to a fair, when they first move into her friend’s house. On a scale of one to five, I would give this book a five, because I thought that it was an unbelievable book and I love to read books about women (in the times before they were considered equal to men) who defy their “boundaries” in life.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction about baseball and can stand some depressing or intense parts in the story. Enjoy the maze of trickery, baseball, sickness and family that bring this fantastic book together.
Ruby herself is a strong, determined young woman dedicated to protecting her nieces. She is relatable, but not in a boring way. All the other charactres are multi-faceted as well and interact in fascinating ways. The book kept me riveted through the very last page and I would recommend it in a heartbeat!