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THE TALENTED RIBKINS: A Novel ~Ladee Hubbard

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award

THE TALENTED RIBKINS was, “Inspired by W.E.B. Du Bois’s famous essay “The Talented Tenth” and fuelled by Ladee Hubbard’s marvelously original imagination, The Talented Ribkins is a big-hearted debut novel about race, class, politics, and the unique gifts that, while they may cause some problems from time to time, bind a family together. “

Johnny Ribkin has now reached his 70s and life should be much easier and it is not.  His mobster boss is demanding the return of some money that Johnny has been taking for pay and has hidden in buried important spots all over Florida.  As he follows his map of hidey – holes, he discovers that his brother left a 13-year-old daughter, who has a special talent and her mother cannot pay the mortgage.  Johnny ends up sharing his retrieved cash with Eloise’s Mother and then taking Eloise on his adventure to find his funds and introduce her to her family.  Actually, every descendant in the Rib King’s family tree has a special talent and they find themselves happy to use their talent to their best advantage.  The family has some most unusual talents!

Johnny, his brother and his cousins in their youth formed together to create a Justice Committee.  This group protected and assisted folks who were working on civil rights and political action.  They formed a bond that was difficult to break and yet they needed more funds to keep going, which ultimately broke up the group.  Johnny was still trying to create the perfect map for the future – he just needed more money.  He discovered lots of corruption among politicians and that often their word was not true and he got roped into helping a mobster lawyer steal.

Eloise is a bright young woman working out very carefully how her talent might be useful to her and her future.  She enjoys learning about her family and their talents as she travels with her Uncle Johnny.  Her family is very funny and her curiosity creates a backdrop for the story to unfold.  The duo is on a mission and it is wonder full.

“For sheer reading pleasure Ladee Hubbard’s original and wildly inventive novel is in a class by itself.” —Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize-winning author of The Bluest Eye, Beloved, and Song of Solomon

“Crafty and wistful…Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family…well, justice. To describe this novel, as someone inevitably will, as Song of Solomon reimagined as a Marvel Comics franchise is to shortchange its cleverness and audacity.” —Kirkus, starred review

I enjoyed every page, the interesting writing style and the clever story.  The interesting politics and discoveries were just an added bonus.  Ah the bonds of family – THE TALENTED RIBKINS


“Ladee Hubbard is the winner of the 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award and the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition for the Short Story. She holds a BA from Princeton University, an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin, and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Talented Ribkins is her first novel.”

Ladee Hubbard Facebook

Gypsy Mother Summer
A Tale For The Time Being
Language Arts

THE SKELETON GARDEN: A Potting Shed Mystery ~Marty Wingate

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Net Galley sent me a copy of Marty Wingate’s newest book for review and I was so pleased as I have read all of her Potting Shed Mystery Stories and find them delightful.

Pru Parke is busy in the garden with her brother Simon getting the Greenoak Gardens in perfect order for a magazine spread coming up in a prestigious English Gardening magazine.  Pru’s husband Christopher transferred from the London Police Department to a small local command in Ratley. The Gardeners remove a tree that has failed to thrive and discover as they dig down the reason why – too much gravel and a WWII air plane with skeleton.  The Mystery begins amidst the new hedges and dividing the bulbs for winter and being prepared for the reporters visit.

The town is also getting ready for the Christmas Fete and decide their theme is WWII in light of the garden situation and nearly everyone is involved in the discoveries and attractions of figuring out who was buried with the airplane.  Lots of stories emerge and papers and speculation, as the town looks at history and the present.

I have found each of Marty Wingate’s books to be a delightful read and I certainly enjoy the tours of garden plants and the family interactions.  A great weekend read and I feel renewed when I have finished.

I need to say that I follow Marty Wingate on Facebook and she has identified a plant or two in my new garden space as things are emerging this spring.  Thank you so much – I too love the name “Pigs Squeak”

Here are the books I have reviewed from Marty Wingate and she has another series about Birds of a Feather also in England.  More Gardening books and articles also to discover.

The Garden Plot
The Red Book of Primrose House
The Rhyme of the Magpie
Between a Rock and Hard Place

Several More are listed on Amazon

From the book:

“In addition to the Potting shed Mysteries, Marty Wingate is also the author of The Rhyme of the Magpie, A Birds of a Feather Mystery.  A well-known speaker on gardens and travel, she has written numerous non-fiction books on gardening, including Landscaping for Privacy.  Marty’s garden articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including The American Gardener, and Country Gardens.  She is hard at work on her next novel.  She lives in Seattle, Washington and travels often to England”

Marty Wingate Facebook

Food and Money Insights

Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Piggy Bank

“No matter what the outcome, when u labor with all your heart, making your very being manifest in your efforts, u do not labor in vain.”   Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ 4/19/2011

For days I have been wandering around my house feeling very hungry and yet nothing that I have available to eat sounds appetizing.  I have been eating on list and measuring each item, and trying to make my partner decide his own menu.   I just do not want to cook anything right now either – absolutely nothing.

I do not want to watch the news and several of the movies that have come to the house just do not interest me and I have mailed them back.  I do not want to do fear.

I am exhausted with applying for jobs and getting rejected, and I just keep pushing forward and making myself a disciplined routine.  I can no longer get a visual of what I do want to be doing; I cannot focus or fantasize about the future at this moment.

I am not alone; yesterday I read Blogging Without a Blog’s recent post and the great blog teacher is not inspired to write  now either.  I speculated in my comment as to why this is happening.  I think the Mayor of Newark is projecting his positive thoughts from his quote today on twitter?

I have been working out of love and I have been laboring hard for years and damn it, I cannot seem to find any results for me and the self-hatred is oozing out of my pores and into my dreams and causing a shut down.   I am blaming myself and taking responsibility for my weight issues and my money issues, but I do not seem to be getting any relief and my actions are not accruing the desired results and fulfilling the hopes.  I am feeling the sting of rejection. Blaming myself.

I went to my usual relief medication – books.  Out came Geneen Roth’s   WOMEN, FOOD AND GOD and I began reading it again.   Digging deep into the lessons I was taught about food as a child.   My parents were school teachers and on a frugal budget and they had value- programmed about food in the Great Depression.  They both lived on farms and they ate what their families provided them and they were grateful.  My Mother took those ideas and folded them into the advertisements and articles she read in her women’s magazines.  We all had 3 glasses of milk every day, and every glass consumed I thought the sensation of nausea was how one felt full.  I was taught that my Father and brother would have the biggest portions and be served first because men had such important work to do.

I learned that at first I was all bones, sickly, and then sometime around age 12, I was suddenly a round person who had to watch her weight all the time.  When diet soda came to market, the Ob/Gyn thought I should drink a can of soda before every meal to curb my appetite, and my Mother reminded me about how expensive this was but that is was a prescription from the doctor and we complied.   She also gave me synthetic vitamins, which turned into nasty kidney stones as the soda and caffeine turned into migraine headaches of devastating proportions and the sugar into tooth decay that was hurting our budget dramatically as a family.   Food was the greatest form of love distributed in my family.

I was determined to heal with food for my own children and I studied, researched, and worked to add various and varied expressions of love to my children so there was not such a limited source.

Geneen Roth lost all of her millions of dollars of investment funds to Bernie Madoff’s Investment schemes.  She has done so much work and written about weight issues that she was able to go through the stages of loss to being healing in three days – disbelief, blame, to self-realization.   She has now written a new book called  LOST AND FOUND: Unexpected Revelations About Food and MONEY.  I bought it on my KINDLE right away and was driven to read it in one afternoon.

I am at the self examination phase once again – still working on detaching myself from the old patterns and not wanting to believe that my financial situation is my responsibility after all my work and labors of trying to do everything right.   I have invested so much energy – it is not fair.

Roth was a happy person again in 3 days because she has taught and completed the work.  She now needs to detach from her things and recognize the lessons her parents gave her about money.  She can stop buying things to get attention and love.  She is watching her friends, who were invested with her in the Madoff schemes move in with their children or into friend’s garages – even going back to work after years of retirement.  She has to learn about her need to not give anything away.

I on the other hand need to stop beating myself up for having given everything away – all the time.  For not caring for “me” enough to hold on to more and demand appropriate pay for the work and energy I gave to each position I held.  I have to realize that I have not loved myself enough or thought I was worthy – I think of myself as a burden, so I make it easy for other’s to endure me.  I will not be satisfied until I have totally let go of everything and thus my physical plant is holding on for dear life.

I have worked for money all of my life.   I did little jobs for nickels and dimes until I was 12.  When I turned 12 I did regular childcare jobs, picked produce on farms, raked leaves, cleaned houses because I purchased all of my clothing except shoes and outerwear; spent my own money on entertainment and nearly every penny I made went to pay for college and graduate school. I was repeatedly told I would always have nothing and be poor, because I spent money on movies and doing things for friendship (sometimes buying friends).

I did extra jobs when my children were little so they could have camp, theater experiences, music lessons, and trips.  I did not give it to them; they had to do their half of the fundraising.

As a parent, I was supposed to take care of all medical expenses and learning specialists; I did it.

So now I must start again, first sorting out so that I know that I am worthy and that I am paid for those labors of love and energy.   All the heaps of bad news, criticism, blame and no’s are allowing me to hold on and not release….I have not surrendered

…I am exhausted with holding on and keeping at it….my body is wearing out and yelling at me…I am still laboring at it – hopefully not in vain.

These are my life lessons and I have been fervently praying through Lent for some answers I needed and it looks like I am getting replies.   Have you wished for something and gotten it?  Do you believe you must be careful of what you wish for, because you just might receive it?

Related Reading:
I Cannot Detach Myself
Dawn and release
Kindle 2 and 5 things I love about it

A reminder:  there are two book” give aways” happening on Patricia’s Wisdom right now:

April 22, 2011 will be the drawing for a copy of the book THE LONG GOODBYE – all you need to do is be from the USA or Canada and leave a comment.

April 28, 2011 The author of the book THE PROCRASTINATION EQUATION is giving away a copy to the best procrastination story or anti-procrastination technique from the comments section.

Can you recommend a book to me that you discovered and enjoyed?  Have you made any delightful discoveries as of late? Did you just decide to read something on a whim or suggestion that turned out well?  Let’s share