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The Ruby Slippers
 
 

The Ruby Slippers [Kindle Edition]

Keir Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description

Review

A triumphant debut. A magical and absorbing read with an unforgettable cast of characters. --Angela Jackson (author of The Emergence of Judy Taylor)

Book Description

Bursting with atmosphere, an unforgettable cast of characters, and set against a New York skyline, The Ruby Slippers is a sweeping story of hidden treasures, forgotten histories, lost connections, and the search for true meaning: rich in imagination - read it and feel a million dollars.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 816 KB
  • Print Length: 433 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1472108078
  • Publisher: Corsair (6 Mar 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GHK76J0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,607 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's no place like home 21 July 2014
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Ruby Slippers are, of course, the shoes worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard Of Oz. And, as everybody knows, if you click the heels three times and repeat “there’s no place like home”, then home is where you go.

In Keir Alexander’s novel, we meet an old bag lady, Rosa, and her dog Barrell as they buy provisions from the Sunrise delicatessen, run by Michael Marcinkus. Michael is, we discover, Rosa’s nephew. As it goes, Michael is one to harbour a grudge and he has a pretty big grudge against Rosa who, it seems had swanned off to Hollywood to live it up whilst Michael and his family were left behind to face first the Germans and then the Russians in wartime Latvia. However, Michael knows that Rosa has a pair of Judy Garland’s ruby slippers stashed away somewhere in her rubbish strewn apartment and when the opportunity arises…

The novel is one that follows a group of disparate characters and switches back and forth between storylines every page or two. We follow Michael; a gay man, James, visiting his dying partner in hospital; Siobhan, a teenage girl; Harrison, a delinquent black kid who hangs around across the road from Michael’s deli; Malachi McBride, a lonely man in a wheelchair; and various bit part characters. Then, there is a long letter from Rosa, giving us the background to her migration and early years in the United States.

The stories are well crafted and interlink just enough to create a coherent whole without relying on Dickensian coincidences.

The ruby slippers themselves keep a low profile for much of the book. They are the MacGuffin that brings the characters together, allows then to display their true colours. But little by little, they steal their way into the story, representing dreams, memories, hope and love.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understated and brilliant debut! 6 Mar 2014
By Bookie TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
Love, loss, greed and redemption are just a few of the themes explored by Keir Alexander in this stunning debut. I was hooked from the start and it's one of those rare books which becomes an imprinted experience that plays over in your mind long after you've finished reading it. I absolutely loved it! The slippers of the title are Judy Garland's from The Wizard of Oz. They are the focal point for a modern parable where each character struggles to find true value in their life.

It's a gripping multi themed story. I was grabbed by a narrative which moves the story forward skilfully in small bites. There's a finely drawn cast of characters each with a tale to tell as their lives and paths weave across a New York backdrop. There's a real sense of place and time as disparate threads are carefully drawn together and the central characters start to learn what really matters. From the laconic, streetwise youth who lives with his god fearing aunt to immigrant refugees seeking a new life, each voice is distinct and different. They become an eclectic microcosm drawn by temptation and opportunity.

The pace is superb; there are moments of genuine pathos balanced by events which brim with true happiness. It's filled with insight into souls motivated by greed. The underlying story about the acquisition of the slippers and their stark juxtaposition to Rosa, the bag lady's life is a tantalising reveal which swept me along and ultimately took me by surprise as the plot unfolded. Original and haunting, this book's a literary gem.

My thanks to lovereading for a pre publication copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really different read 17 April 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I heard about this book on the Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club review. I read the first chapter online and was intrigued so I bought the book. I wasn't disappointed. The first chapter brings in many different characters and you wonder how they can be involved in the story, how will they come together. I wish this author a lot of successful with the next book, can't wait!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By K. J. Noyes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
4.5 stars

The cover is a wonderful one. You instantly know something about the book, and you'd be right. I felt very much like I was in New York reading this. And yes, it's all about the famous Ruby Slippers.

But how did bag lady Rosa ever get hold of them? Rosa is the catalyst for a whole series of stories that converge on the coveted Wizard of Oz shoes. Involved in a traffic accident one day in New York, her nephew then goes to her apartment to sort through her belongings and discovers the ruby slippers hidden in a box. He also discovered they are authentic, really worn by Judy Garland. And Rosa has also left letters explaining her life's story.

This isn't really Rosa's story though. We do hear her voice in flashbacks as Michael, her deli owner nephew, reads her letters. And her story, and his connect. And with Harrison, the young man watching the ruby slippers from across the street... And James, the customer watching his lover die in hospital... And a teenage girl skipping school to head to the city to find her father... And the bitter old man and his put-upon nurse...

I love stories that seem so disparate but then gradually weave their way together. It's easier to do visually I feel, in a film, but I love Alexander's strands of story that entwine when you don't see the joins coming.

In a story about dreams, hope and family, the ruby slippers play a crucial role in having our characters brought together in different ways. I loved the ending, I thought it was perfect, very moving. It's a story you get caught up in, there are so many things you are willing to happen for various characters.

Very cinematic in its approach, would love to see the film of this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars not great
Reasonably written but not a great story. I read about 3/4s then skimmed to the end.
Published 4 days ago by Tiffany Ireland
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent book - a compelling read
This is an excellent book - a compelling read. Who was the woman hidden behind the filthy clothes and what has made her like this? Read more
Published 8 days ago by Ann Walsh
3.0 out of 5 stars Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas any more.
We're in New York, actually, following the interlinked stories of aging deli owner Michael, James whose male partner is dying in hospital, teenager Siobhan who treks to the city to... Read more
Published 24 days ago by Sue Kichenside
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
enjoyable!
Published 1 month ago by AB Kennedy
4.0 out of 5 stars ... was expecting to read but if anything it was better. Always sucked...
The Ruby Slippers maybe wasn't quite what I was expecting to read but if anything it was better. Always sucked in by anything with a link to Oz, this story is less fantasy and more... Read more
Published 1 month ago by katiebeth101
3.0 out of 5 stars good reading
A good idea for a novel but didn't quite deliver. However, overall a good read and certainly one which is ideal for a beach holiday.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Andrew Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Enjoyed
Really enjoyed this, and finished in a couple of days.
Seemed lots of different people in it at the beginning, but all came together at the end.
Great read!
Published 2 months ago by Chris
5.0 out of 5 stars The ruby slippers
A really enjoyable story where the characters are all eventually interlinked with a few twists along the way as well as quite moralistic in its outcome. Well worth a read
Published 3 months ago by Pauline Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Really liked how the ruby slippers from the film were woven in to the narrative and given new life - an aspect of the novel that all Judy Garland fans would love. Read more
Published 3 months ago by wendy jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Gently compulsive
Maybe a little contrived but ultimately a damn good read, recommended for Wizard Of Oz enthusiasts and lovers of family sagas and rich characterisations. Hugely enjoyable.
Published 3 months ago by Alun Hood
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