24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Mourning Ruby (Hardcover)
The structure of this wonderful book is complex, but Dunmore's poetic prose flows so gracefully across the pages, that it quite simply takes you by the hand and leads you gently but surely through its rich layers of stories within stories within stories without putting a step wrong.
The main story is about a mother (herself an abandoned child) and father trying to deal with the death of their young daughter. The awful moment when Ruby races from one parent to another into the path of an oncoming car is heartstopping in its shocking finality. It reminded me of the equally shocking moment in Ian McKewn's 'A Child In Time', when a father, out shopping, suddenly realises that his child has disappeared. In both cases the reader is overwhelmed by the absence of this small person whose energy spilled onto the page only a moment ago, but now is gone. As that absence fills their lives, so it spreads its influence across the whole book and its cast of characters both 'real' and fictional - and while the layering of stories means that there are a large number of characters (and voices) in this book, I felt that I knew and cared for even the most minor of them.
Mourning Ruby is beautifully crafted and takes the reader on an emotional and searching journey. Although it is laced with grief it is also about hopes and dreams. This book is not, in the end, about death, its about the joy and pain of living.