Out of Silence by Ruby Monroe is the story of an emotionally, physically, sexually, and mentally abused young woman who rose above her situation, turned her life around and wrote her novelized life story.
Ruby, a pretty, innocent teenager, went on a cruise with her friend to celebrate her upcoming 16th birthday. There she met a great-looking guy whom she fell for the moment they noticed each other. Nineteen-year-old Jason was not only gorgeous but also well-mannered and swept Ruby Monroe off her feet. They danced together, flirted and soon became an item. When Ruby told him she was pregnant, he immediately proposed. Sure, Ruby could no longer complete her education, but she had Jason and they would have a baby together.
Soon after they married, Jason showed his true colors. He beat her, humiliated her, raped her, and even cheated on her. And he made Ruby feel like it was all her fault. These were classic signs of domestic abuse, but she was not aware of it. Ruby, who was now working, became better and better at her job, and over the years she rose to various managerial positions. Ultimately, she opened her eyes and left Jason and all her long years of abuse behind.
The first half of the book was quite difficult to read. I am a woman, and reading about another woman’s abuse, without her being able to fight back, is rather hard. I had to put the book down often because I couldn’t stomach some things Jason put Ruby through. I wanted to shout at her to leave him, to disappear and go to a women’s shelter, but then I realized that Ruby was just not ready for the big step yet. It took her over 20 years of abuse and agony, after her two children grew up, to find her backbone and do what needed to be done.
I was amazed how well Ruby could hide her physical, mental, and emotional ordeal at work from her colleagues and superiors. Nobody even had a hint that Ruby was going through extremely tough times at home. Abused people have a way of taking compartmentalization to new heights.
Domestic violence is such a pervasive problem all over the world. In the US alone, NISVS data suggest that, overall, each minute of the day, 24 people are victims of spousal violence or stalking by their partner. That’s around 12 million women and men each year. These are dry statistics, but when you drill down to the actual lives of such people like Ruby, you realize just how dire the situation really is. While it took Ruby over 20 years to leave her old life behind, she was one of the lucky ones. Because so often domestic abuse becomes murder, and the statistics for it are grim too.
Forty years later, when Ruby was already living a good life with her real love, she decided that other women could well benefit from her memoirs, from detailing her struggles for independence, her clandestine meetings with a wonderful man who would help her move on, and her realization that life after abuse is possible. You can leave your dire past behind and become what you were meant to become all along.
This book moved me more than I could say. The writing flowed smoothly and the only slight negative issue I found was that, at times, the dialogue was a bit forced. People just don’t converse in full sentences every single time they open their mouths. Even in the heat of making love, Ruby or her partner would find themselves commenting using well-thought-out sentences, which was unrealistic. However, this was a minor issue that didn’t really bother me. I found no grammatical errors in the book, which means it was properly edited. Therefore, I rate Out of Silence 4 out of 4 stars and recommend it to anyone who has experienced abuse, knows someone who is going through domestic ordeals, or simply enjoys reading novelized autobiographies that move and touch one’s heart.