Monday, February 4, 2013

Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas

It's official. I'm a sucker for Rosie Thomas' books. After thoroughly enjoying The Kashmir Shawl, I requested Iris & Ruby from the library. Iris & Ruby is the only other Thomas book they have besides The Kashmir Shawl. I talked to my coworker who lent me The Kashmir Shawl and she said she'd work on hooking me up with more of Thomas' books.
Iris is in her 80's, living in Cairo, lost in her memories. Iris is content to live like this, not aware of today, only thinking about yesterday. One day, Iris' granddaughter, Ruby shows up on her doorstep. Iris and Ruby don't know each other very well. Ruby, 19, has run away from home. Ruby hasn't set a course for herself which is completely unacceptable to her parents. In order to escape the noise as well as the death of her boyfriend, Ruby seeks refugee with Iris. I absolutely loved how Iris and Ruby's  relationship evolved and how they each changed because of it.
Again, Thomas takes us back and forth between present day Cairo and 1940's Cairo. Sometimes the transitions were a little foggy but this time it worked for me. It's like Iris decided to retire in her memories. She loses herself in remembering her old life and until Ruby shows up there is no reason for her to pay attention to the present. Thomas does an excellent job of capturing war time Cairo and present day Cairo. I loved all the details about the museums, the tombs, and the Pyramids.
Overall I would recommend Iris & Ruby. It was a wonderfully told story about mothers and daughters, love, and loss. Others who shared their thoughts on Iris & Ruby: Little Miss Rachel, Grumpy Old Bookman, and Yeah I Said That.


  1. This one sounds amazing...adding it to my 2013 board!!!!!! I have to experience this author!

  2. I read a couple of Rosie Thomas' books a few years ago, I enjoyed them but I don't tend to actively seek her books out. I've not read either of the ones you have.

    Have you read anything by Linda Gillard? Her writing style is quite similar.

  3. I've never read anything by Rosie Thomas. But the fact this book takes place in Egypt, somewhere I'd absolutely LOVE to visit, makes is sound really appealing to me.


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