Iris And Ruby

by Rosie Thomas | Women's Fiction |
ISBN: 0007173547 Global Overview for this book
Registered by teachie of High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on 8/8/2008
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by teachie from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, August 08, 2008
Set in the surrounds of Cairo, "Iris and Ruby" is a stirring story of family relationships spanning three generations. Fragility and forgetfulness have left 82-year-old Iris vulnerable and in the care of her manservant, Mamdooh. Stiflingly quiet and claustrophobic, Iris's Cairo house is suddenly disturbed by the unexpected arrival of her troubled and wilful granddaughter, Ruby, who, labouring under a fraught relationship with her family, has run away from England to seek solace with the grandmother she hasn't seen for many years. An unlikely bond arises as the two women open themselves up to one another and Ruby helps Iris document her deteriorating memories of the vibrant life she enjoyed in Cairo during World War Two, a time when she lost her heart to her one true love - the enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux - and then lost him to the ravages of the war. This early devastation of Iris's heart precipitated a disastrously compensatory marriage and the birth of Ruby's mother, thus shaping the lives of all three women.
It is the need to recover Iris's past and solidify Ruby's present that leads the two women into terrible danger in the Egyptian desert. With skilfully intertwined narratives, written from the points of view of both Iris and Ruby, Rosie Thomas has created a characteristically atmospheric novel, rich and alive with descriptions of the bustling streets of Cairo and the vast, foreboding desert surrounding it. A highly moving story spanning three generations of one family. Amazon review.

Journal Entry 2 by teachie from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, September 05, 2008
Won by Ace of hearts in the August YBS. Posted off today.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing from Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Friday, November 07, 2008
received in the mail today

Journal Entry 4 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Monday, June 02, 2014
My mom, AceofHearts, passed away from breast cancer on September 17, 2013. Aside from being one of the best people I know, she was an avid reader and took immense pleasure in Bookcrossing, her book club, and reading many great books. Unfortunately she didn't get around to reading this book.

We had similar tastes in books and would share them whenever we read something we enjoyed. This book sounds interesting so I'm going to keep it to read.

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, September 13, 2018
Ruby is a rebellious teenager who runs away from home in England to visit her grandmother in Cairo. She has basically no relationship with her grandmother, but is desperate to leave and try something new. Showing up on the doorstep of her grandmother, the manservent Mamdooh is none too pleased to see her. She eventually convinces her way in and finds Iris, her grandmother, who is old, ailing, and struggling to remember her past. Ruby offers to help Iris document her history so that it is not forgotten and Iris can't pass that up.

Iris came of age in Cairo during WWII. She fell in love with a soldier and got engaged, working as a secretary to the British government. It was times of high stress but lots of partying and lots of love. People did things quickly for fear that war would wipe out everything.

As Ruby pieces together her grandmother's past, she also finds her own love story in Cairo. She starts to fall for the brother of the taxi driver that took her from the airport to Iris' house. This boy shows her around the city and she starts to love both Cairo and him.

This was a great coming of age story from two different generation's perspective. We learn about Iris' journey to adulthood during the war and we see Ruby's as she grows up in Cairo. Ruby is a believable teenager, starting off a little annoying but coming in to her own. I'm not sure I ever really understand her relationship with her mom, or her mom's relationship with Iris. They tried to flush out the latter in the book but it was a fairly short conversation near the end of the book and not really sufficient for me to understand or believe it.

The event that finally brings everyone together seemed a bit drastic but I guess typical to a coming of age fictional story. I've been having bad luck with books recently, unable to get through a few of them before giving up, so I was happy to be able to easily get through this one.

Journal Entry 6 by HoserLauren at Little Free Library in Burlington, Ontario Canada on Saturday, October 13, 2018

Released 9 mos ago (10/13/2018 UTC) at Little Free Library in Burlington, Ontario Canada

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Leaving in the little free library on Newell.

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