by Tina Ann Forkner

May 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4000-7358-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Waterbrook Press
Trade Paperback

Lucy DiCamillo is convinced she’s killed her mother. After all, her mother, Ruby, asked for her inhaler, but Lucy took the time to finish up the job she was doing before she got it for her mother. By then, it was too late.

Lucy’s grandmother, Kitty, takes Ruby in, but Kitty seems to shield Lucy from the memory of her mother. Lucy knows Kitty can tell her more about her mother, but when Lucy asks questions Kitty hushes her or gives round-about answers.

As Lucy grows she graduates with her masters. She has her books, music, and art-and an elusive memory of a mother she wants to know more about. So Lucy goes on a quest that leads her from San Francisco to Sacramento to the lush vineyards of Sonoma Valley.

Ruby Among Us is Ms. Forkner’s debut novel. As a rule I don’t like stories that start with death, I find them way too depressing. So it was a struggle to read this book. The story is well-written, even engaging, and I sympathized with Lucy. I know how hard it is to lose a mother, and how as an orphan one reaches to grasp any memory of their parent they can.

I couldn’t understand why Kitty refused to talk with her granddaughter about Ruby. It would have cleared up a lot of Lucy’s questions—but it fueled a desire in Lucy to learn as much as she could—and that was admirable. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $9.99. 336 pages.

Reviewed in April 2008 by Laura.

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