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An unforgettable tale featuring the rebellious early years of Mama Ruby, the indomitable heroine of New York Times bestselling author Mary Monroe's acclaimed classic novel The Upper Room. Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana, Ruby Jean Upshaw is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and knows how to get it. By the time she's fifteen, Ruby has a taste for fast men and cheap liquor, and not even her preacher daddy can set her straight. Only Othella Mae Cartier, daughter of the town tramp, understands what makes Ruby tick. When Ruby discovers she's in the family way, she's scared for the first time in her life. After hiding her growing belly, Ruby secretly gives birth to a baby girl at Othella's house. Othella talks Ruby into giving the child away—and with the help of a shocking revelation, convinces Ruby to run off with her to New Orleans. But nothing can erase Ruby's memories of her child—or quell her simmering rage at Othella for persuading her to let her precious baby go. Someday there will be a reckoning. And Othella will learn that no one exacts revenge quite like Ruby Jean Upshaw ...