- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 41 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 22 Sept. 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005OZCOA0
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Mourning Ruby Audiobook – Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
Audio Download, Unabridged
|Free with your Audible trial|
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
Try as I might I could not get into this book at all , in fact I gave up a quarter of the way through.
By all means give this a try but like many other readers the chances are you will be dusappointed.
Some of the writing in this novel is very powerful, especially that dealing with Ruby's death and with Rebecca's desperate efforts to preserve her memory. The novel is also in part skilfully organised. For example, there is a sub-plot concerning Rebecca's employer Mr Damiano, whose past life has had its own share of identity problems and personal tragedy. This part of the book is cleverly done: as Mr Damiano recounts his past life to Rebecca, it echoes the way in which Dunmore has recounted Rebecca's past to us, the readers.
So far, so good. Unfortunately I found other aspects of this book less satisfactory. The main difficulty concerns Joe's role. For much of the time he is trying to write a book about Stalin, and significant chunks of Dunmore's book focus on this work, and on his life in Moscow. I couldn't see the point of this at all: it just seemed like a distraction from the core of the story. Worse still, towards the end of Dunmore's novel she has Joe abandon the Stalin project and instead start writing a novel about world war one. A sizeable chunk of the final third of Dunmore's book is an edited extract from this novel. Why? I can just about see Dunmore's idea: Joe's novel is about the same themes of identity and loss as Dunmore's, so she is presumably seeking to give further emphasis to these themes. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that this worked at all: instead, it felt like an arbitrary insertion in the main story, which simply confused things.
In my view this could have been a very good novel if Dunmore had simply left Joe and his work out altogether, and focused on Rebecca, Adam and Ruby. By trying to make her work more complex by introducing extra layers, though, I fear that she has instead diluted and confused her message.
Nonetheless the structure of the novel was very strange. Rebecca is an extremely wishy-washy creature; eclipsed in interestingness by her rather lovely boss. Mr Damiano is - rather improbably - a one-time trapeze artiste, now owner of a conglomerate of boutique hotels. I did hope she would leave her (also wishy-washy ) husband and find love with the charming hotelier...
The final part of the novel is a story written by Rebecca's friend/ lover Joe. So well-written is it, that the reader completely forgets Rebecca and gets caught up in the happenings of World War I France: the English airmen and the French prostitutes.
Thus by the time one reaches the end, Rebecca is far from the reader's mind as s/he is caught up in the infinitely more riveting one of Florence and Will, and one begrudges Ms Dunmore dragging us back to the main storyline.
The titles Ruby died aged five leaving both her parents Rebecca and Adam completely heartbroken and bereft. The book takes place a couple of years after Ruby's death where Rebecca in particular is struggling and is estranged from Adam. It is not just about Rebecca's grief however, it is also about her own hopes for the future and at times is surprisingly uplifting.
The writing is as always poetic yet very accessible. The subject matter will always be heartbreaking but this is especially so given the huge presence that Ruby has in the book both through flashbacks and through Rebecca. Other characters like Mr Damiano, Rebecca's boss enrich the novel in other ways and it is through their stories that the more minor characters take centre stage at various parts.
Unfortunately towards the end there is a story within a story thing going on which appears to lead nowhere and left me perplexed. This involves the beginnings of a novel which Rebecca's friend has written. Perhaps I just didn't get it but unfortunately this did spoil it somewhat.
Not Dunmore's best but worth a read.