The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen-year-old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman's hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time?
Brilliant ... The author perfectly harnesses the Ramirez women’s alternating viewpoints to illuminate how the years have worn on them, and in the stunning ending, she cannily reveal the truth behind Ruthy’s disappearance. This is a knockout.
There’s a delightfully subversive and maverick quality to the way first-time novelist Jiménez gives her characters the freedom to tell the truth as they see it ... Jiménez brings bravery to the page, and it’s her strong storytelling and humor that make this an outstanding debut.