Life Long Book Review & Guest Post from Author Ronald L. Ruiz

Book Title: Life Long by Ronald L. Ruiz
Category: Adult Fiction, 268 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction

About the Book
Ray Lopez is on the run with a duffel bag full of cash. Both drug dealers and the police are after him. But Ray is not a criminal. His last brush with the law was over traffic tickets. Recently released from the hospital with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, he is haunted by voices, auditory hallucinations, that frighten him and cause him to question his every move.

Ray’s journey from California to Laredo is perilous. Like so many Americans before him, he travels through unfamiliar territory with no clear way of knowing who will help and who will harm him. And he may well find himself on the wrong side of the border with a mind that has no borders.

My Review

Life Long is Painfully Real. The author does an amazing job pulling readers into the many realms of Ray's mind as he copes with the turns his life takes. Readers will develop quite a heartfelt bond with Ray from the very beginning of the book. His age, his life experiences, his influences--and his good heart and desire to be well--cause the portrayal of his mental illness to be painfully real for readers. As the author guides the character through his ever-present swirls of doubts and fears and chaos; readers will face a range of emotions from heartbreak to hope.

Life Long Offers a Range of Topics for Readers. The author puts many real-world problems in the spotlight throughout this books as Ray makes his way. The treatment and support available for mental illness sufferers, from professionals and society in general, being at the forefront. The author truly takes a look at many elements within society through the eyes and mind of a mentally ill person and; while it is a piece of fiction, the darker realities are all too valid.

Would I recommend Life Long by Ronald Ruiz? It took a few chapters for me to settle into the story and the flow--but, from even the early pages, Ruiz had my heart. I do not have any personal experience with a friend or family member with schizophrenia--but, the author really took me on a learning journey through Ray's thoughts and experiences. This book will really make you think about many of our world's social issues and the life long struggle of facing mental illness. The book was difficult to put down--and the issues raised are not easy to set aside after reading this book. I would recommend it to anyone who likes realistic, thought provoking fiction with a social edge and purpose.

I received a complimentary copy of this book for use in my blog review. All opinions are my own.

Endorsements for “Life Long”

"Ruiz proves to be a very sharp social critic, and no detail gets past him in this richly imagined book. A highly recommended novel that appeals to both the heart and the head."
- Kirkus Reviews

Buy the Book

To read reviews, please visit Ronald L. Ruiz's page on iRead Book Tours.

Meet the Author

Born and raised in Fresno California - Educated at St. Mary´s College California, University of California Berkeley, University of San Francisco - Practiced law from !966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender - Appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County California.

Ronald L. Ruiz has published 5 novels and a memoir. Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), The Big Bear (2003), A Lawyer (2012), Jesusita(2015). and Life Long (2017).

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

Author’s Guest Post
The Last Great Book I’ve Read by Ronald L. Ruiz
Without a doubt, it's Leo Tolstoy´s War and Peace.

I finally read it two years ago and came away convinced that it is the greatest novel ever written. Why? Because it talks about the human condition in a way that no other novel I’ve ever read has. Even though it was published in 1869, and despite all the hundreds and thousands of technological advances we have seen since then, it is a testament to the fact that human nature hasn’t and will not change. In so many ways we’re still the same people he was writing about 150 years ago.

He writes about love and courage and compassion and at the same time about greed and addiction and an exaggerated sense of manliness. Women going to the theatre in Moscow are concerned with how much of themselves they can reveal in their dress. He writes about the classes in his society. The Russian serfs were no better off than the black slaves were in America at the same time. He scorns the wasteful lives of the idle rich. Not long ago Truman Capote was blackballed by the Manhattan rich because of his expose´s on their every day lives.

Recently I read Hue 1968. It deals with the turning battle of the Viet Nam War at Hue. Time and again American soldiers were ordered by their commanding officers into battles and situations that were suicidal. It certainly reminded me of Tolstoy’s depiction of Russian soldiers being ordered by their commanders into suicidal battles against the French. Hue 1968deals with the egos of the commanding officers which in some instances overrode the lives of the ground soldiers. Tolstoy dealt with the same sorry situation in War and Peace.

Tolstoy writes about many human relationships between men and women, women and women, and men and men. To me, the most poignant was the relationship between a cantankerous, old retired general and his spinster daughter. They are living on the old family estate with maids and servants and workmen and workwomen. They are the only two members of the shrinking family living there. Tolstoy’s treatment of the many facets of love between the two is wondrous.

War and Peace is a wonderful book and if you haven´t read it, I hope some day you will.

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