Read Gal: A True Life by Ruthie Bolton Josephine Humphreys Online


Born in 1961 to a thirteen-year-old mother in South Carolina, Ruthie Bolton endured abandonment, abuse, and loss-and grew into a hardened, troubled young woman. Then she met a man who offered her something she'd never known, something she thought was a dirty word: love. The only challenge left was to accept it. "A gift to readers...The storyteller's memory, eye for detailBorn in 1961 to a thirteen-year-old mother in South Carolina, Ruthie Bolton endured abandonment, abuse, and loss-and grew into a hardened, troubled young woman. Then she met a man who offered her something she'd never known, something she thought was a dirty word: love. The only challenge left was to accept it. "A gift to readers...The storyteller's memory, eye for detail, and ear for dialogue are so compelling that in private conversation one would be leaning toward her so as to catch every word." (Washington Post Book World) "Vivid...inspiring...impossible to forget." (Newsweek) "It's a book about being human, and as enthralling as any ever written." (Boston Sunday Globe) "Her language is unadulterated and eloquently simple." (Christian Science Monitor)...

Title : Gal: A True Life
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780451204707
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 274 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gal: A True Life Reviews

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-08 11:17

    I am conflicted about this book. I enjoyed that it was written from the author's spoken word and can say that she told the story well. I just didn't like the story. I wanted her to triumph over her grandfather, over her aunts who treated her badly, over poverty.... and she just didn't. I guess the lesson to learn from this book, if there is one, is to endure to the end. Because that is what she does. She doesn't try to change the world around her and she doesn't try to overcome her adversities, she just endures them. I was left thinking, "that's it? She remains under the control of this 'family' that treats her this badly?" And the answer is, yes. Yes she does. And I didn't like that. But not all life stories have a happy ending... so, I am conflicted.

  • Love
    2019-05-16 08:15

    I loved this one from the very first page. The writer described in such detail for me that I could see what I was reading...Very hard for me to put down. A must read for memoir readers. I felt for Gal, I fell in love with her..Even though I am much younger as I was reading just wanted to give her a hug and take her home with me...I guess that just the mommy in me...

  • Edwina Callan
    2019-05-19 14:51

    This book is so well written that it felt as though I was having a one-on-one conversation with the author. It is a heartwrenching tale of a loveless childhood filled with nothing but abuse, and things don't improve for a long time after the author enters adulthood.This book will make you furious ... it will also make you shed tons of tears.Keep the tissues handy.

  • Sheenaat Hot Eats and Cool Reads
    2019-06-10 08:14

    Ruthie had a rough life. Her story is sad and unimaginable. Memoirs are one of my favorite reading subjects because these people have come forward and told their story even though it may have been one of the hardest things they've ever done. The abuse she suffered at the hands of her Grandfather was awful and she carried those problems with her into adulthood. She then met a wonderful man and because of him and his loving family she made it through to tell her story. You will come away from this book thinking about how people can do the things they do, and why they do them, especially to their own flesh and blood.

  • Kellee
    2019-06-08 07:51

    This was a decent read. I had heard this was an excellent book by lots of people so I guess I expected much more. Overall, it was just ok for me. It took me awhile to get used to the language in the book, but I would recommend this book to others. It was a change of pace from the other types of books I normally read.

  • ElizabethHigginbotham
    2019-05-30 07:10

    A sad memoir, but also a tale of redemption. It is horrible that her early childhood was very rough and you can see that there was no intervention. Her step-grandfather and father to her nieces was able to basically torture them and denied them resources. Yet, was able to heal with her husband's family. You can see poverty has its place, but also the role of mental illness.

  • Natasha
    2019-05-27 10:10

    All I have to say is this book caused many emotions to erupt from within me.And I am so proud of Ruthie and how she overcame the trials and tribulations that she went through,through her childhood.Thank you for sharing your life story, you incredible woman ❤️

  • Loretta West
    2019-05-19 12:52

    You become part of this intriguing tale as you read it.

  • June
    2019-05-26 07:07

    I was literally in tears reading this book. Excellent writing, but it will leave you emotionally drained.

  • Mark Ballinger
    2019-06-15 09:55

    The author faced a savage upbringing, of poverty and domestic violence. (view spoiler)[She does many wrong things as a result, but is also redeemed by the love of a family she marries into. "It was a hard thing for me to realize. I don't know why it was so hard. I just didn't believe that these people could love me." (hide spoiler)]This book is a reminder that behavior we find "bad" has roots we often don't see.

  • Nyadia Jackson
    2019-06-04 08:00

    This book is the story of Ruthie Bolton's life. It talks about her childhood and everything she went through. She lived with her grandparents, because her mother was never around and she didn't know her father. Ruthie's grandfather chased away her mother and later killed her grandmother. After her grandmother's death, she and her five sisters were sent with their aunt. Her aunt was the best guardian she had. The aunt was dying slowly, so Ruthie and her sisters moved back with their grandfather. The aunt had gotten older and she drank a lot, which contributed to her death. Ruthie's grandfather became more abusive and treated them like slaves when they moved back with him. He would beat them for no reason, he would get mad and scrape the whole fingernail off if they painted their nails. That was very cruel of him. He would make them plant and harvest his marijuana. One night while they were harvesting the marijuana, the police came and took him to jail. While he was in jail, the girls were sent to live with another aunt who was just as mean to them as he was. Ruthie finally grew up and started a life of her own. She met someone who finally treated her with respect. I thought that this book had different emotions along the way. At one point it was happy, sad, and angry. The book shows how people can be mistreated and still over come it all. Overall, it was a good read.

  • Simone Reynolds
    2019-05-26 13:16

    After reading Gal by Ruthie Bolton, I became over whelmed of all kinds of emotions. This book showed me what kind of struggles young girls in the African-American community struggled. At times I was sad while reading, but as I read farther in the book I started to get a sense of happiness. At the beginning of the story Ruth describes her childhood how she was born to a 13-year old girl in 1961, didn’t know her father, and was beaten by her step-grandfather. After reading about how Ruthie struggled at the beginning of the story made me feel very sad and then to read about her later on in the story of how she found happiness, peace, forgiveness and the “dirty” word: love as she became older. The author’s mood was most important, because she was the main character. The mood of the author is sincerity. In the book, Ruthie says "I never had anyone touch me except to beat me" (Bolton, 21). That quote really helped me understand the mood, because she was sincere about her not having the best childhood. Ruthie Bolton supported the mood through her speech and actions.

  • Anne-Michelle
    2019-06-15 07:04

    Unfortunately this book was exactly what I thought it was going to be. Based on the synopsis, I was hoping I would walk away with a stronger foundation and understanding for what this woman experienced and how she grew, but she really just told her life's story in a matter-of-fact way. She was severely beaten by her father who also ran off her mother and killed her grandmother, but he never faced any repercussions. Nor was there much passion on her part about the pain and embarrassment she endured. I suppose the lesson learned was that she had to be hard, unemotional, and closed off to the world, but it didn't make the story any better. I guess it was "okay" because I finished it, but there weren't any hidden messages in the end, and that left me unsatisfied.

  • Mmathi
    2019-05-16 11:52

    READ THIS BOOK. There is so much to say about it. The book is the story of Ruthie Bolton or 'Gal'. I can;t say much without spoiling, but this book instantly draws you in and you just must keep reading.Gal is abused, abandoned, forsaken, and overall this chronicles this woman's unbelievable life. It is an insane childhood, yet Gal comes out of it as a wonderful person who we get to know throughout the book.Bolton's writing style is simple in a way that it feels like she is telling you the story, and although the style is easy to follow, the actual story is horrifying. This is an absolute must read for anyone. I mean it. Go read it!

  • Nicole
    2019-05-24 10:13

    For me, this book was one that made me take a step further away from judgments of people. I read this book on the subway and from time to time I'd look up at the people getting on the train or getting off and realized that the story could be anyone's. You never know what memories and history that a person is holding inside of them that causes them to behave the way they do. Gal went thru a lot in her life but still she would wake up each morning and keep on going. Don't know if I'd be able to do the same if I'd had her upbringing.

  • Sherry
    2019-05-29 15:01

    This was a very intense book, there were times I had to put it aside and come back to it later due to the subject matter. I enjoy true life stories and this book was an in depth look into this young girl's life and how her childhood impacted her young adult life. I wish the ending had been better, but like Kimberly said, "Life isn't always about happy endings." True. It would've been nice for her to have had some closure. After finishing the book I wondered if now, with the success of her book, how her life had changed or if it even had.

  • Collsells
    2019-05-23 13:10

    Oh boy - this was a read I couldn't put down. I can't say it was a great story because it's actually very sad and true. However, I truly felt connected and quite sympathetic with the author of this autobiography. It made me cry, it made me think, it made me realize how lucky I am and it made me have compassion for people, as you never know what they are going through at the time.It was very well written, and in her native tonque which made it funny and made me wanting more. I actually read this all in one sitting.

  • Shakera
    2019-06-02 07:03

    I had received mixed reviews about this title. I was told that it did not have a happy ending. I found quite the opposite. Though the ending was not filled with glitter and gold, it was fitting for the life she had lived. Gal had a tough childhood filled with abuse, she survived the emotional baggage her childhood upbringing caused, and she persevered when the people she called family turned on her. At the end, she forgave them and learned to live in peace and love.

  • Frances
    2019-06-05 07:10

    hoping to finish this weekend...looks like a quick interesting read....picked up at the library book sale!

  • Priscilla
    2019-06-10 11:05

    I found this great review about how this book came to be:

  • Monica
    2019-06-05 07:55

    This book took me a while to get used to but the story was one of pain, sorrow but also triumph. All in all, it was a wonderful story.

  • Joann
    2019-05-27 13:15


  • A1
    2019-06-04 14:56

    Reading this book opened my eyes to a world that I always knew existed, but never really experienced first hand. I was saddened by the way the grandfather just beat them for no reason, I mean he beat the hell out of them blood was shed after his beatings, he showed no love for them AT ALL.. I was also blown away by the fact that he killed his wife and nothing happened to him everyone knew he did it too. I never really felt a connection towards the other girls in the fam because they all seemed so distant and my ill feelings turned out to be true in the end when they all started showing their true colors, wanting to act brand new and try to take over houses and stuff, they all grew up with the same treatment (Straight bullshit) so how can 1 feel superior over the other?? Go figure... I did love the way the story was told though, it felt as though you were sitting right there in front of her as she told it. 1 thing that I couldn't understand is why she didn't fight till the death to get her daughter back, I just don't feel like she did enough. Overall this was a great read I can admit, there were plenty of breaking points where I wished things would've went another way but that's always in a book/movie I guess. Well nevertheless I have yet to read a bad memoir. I enjoyed her story.

  • Stephanie
    2019-05-22 13:58

    I liked the way the writer stayed true to herself by writing how she spoke. She truly is a survivor. I didn't like the fact that I never knew how old she was most of the time and whether or not the dog that got run over was dead or not when it was thrown into the woods.By the time I was finished with the book I hated it because she kept being a victim and allowed that man to abuse her until the day he died. Then to make matters worse her family who asked her to take care of that bastard basically throws her away when they don't need her anymore. I'm proud of how strong she is and that she seems to have a wonderful family now but I just wish she would have been a little more selfish and taken care of herself.

  • Brandy
    2019-05-29 07:56

    Well, if you ever felt sorry for yourself because you didn't grow up in a Brady Bunch type family, then this book will put things in perspective. It's amazing to see the transformation from child to woman, from troubled teenager/young woman to mature self assured woman. Ruthie went through so much in her young life, and never felt that she had a real place and that she was truly wanted. Life didn't hand her anything easy, that's for certain. However, through much trial and error, Ruthie succeeded, in spite of everyone and everything that got in her way. It gives me a nice warm feeling inside knowing that this woman is out there somewhere now continuing to succeed and love and be loved.

  • Terrell
    2019-06-03 10:13

    When Bolton was born her mom was thirteen; consequently Bolton was not raised by her mom. She actually remembered when her mom was in high school, which unfortunately, is one of few memories that she has of her mom. Bolton's mom left her before she began kindergarten, leaving Bolton to be raised by her violent granddad—who would later kill Bolton's grandma in an act of spiteful violence. Bolton lived most of her childhood with her aunts and the violent granddad who would frequently beat her for fastidious reasons. The memoir's structure is written with a stream of consciousness approach that often left this reader questioning whether some sequences were valid.

  • Tiffany LaShay
    2019-05-22 13:55

    I had read this story years ago, and written a paper on it. One of things that I wish I could know is why Ruthie never kept writing. I know that she got assistance from Josephine Humphreys with telling this story, but I felt like she had amazing story telling abilities. I wanted to know more about her, for example what happened to her since the book came out. I wondered why she chose a childhood photo of herself, but kept such secrecy to protect her family. I wondered if they had found out from the photo. It is a very sad story, and yet it has encouraging moments towards the end. It is a story that can stick with you for a very long time.

  • Karin A.
    2019-06-06 11:12

    Gal (her name is Ruthie) had a tough beginning. She was one angry child, teen and adult. She didn't learn to love or trust until she was an adult and it was still difficult. Even though others let her down - the man who raised her, her step "siblings", men, first husband and his family - she didn't let others down. She did her best and took pride in her work. Ruthie, don't know how you survived it all but you are an inspiration.

  • Jessica Clement
    2019-05-31 13:01

    I liked this story. I feel there was a lot more to it than the author included. I was impressed at her continued optimism up until the end of the story despite a life that was mostly filled with pain and difficulties. I got this book off the "free book" shelf at the library where someone had discarded it. I'm glad I took a chance on it. The story is set in South Carolina primarily, so I've used this book to fill in my first bingo square on my public library's summer reading square.

  • Krissy
    2019-06-08 13:03

    I'm pretty sure I read this as a teenager. The end feels familiar at any rate.Upon googling Ruthie Bolton, I found that this is a pseudonym for Jina Bolton. She's written one other book that I came across and would consider picking up. When I read memoirs like this I like to google the author to see what their life has turned into. I haven't found anything going in that direction.