The unexpected arrival of her willful teenage granddaughter, Ruby, brings life and disorder to 82-year-old Iris Black’s old house in Cairo. Ruby, driven by her fraught relationship with her own mother to run away from England, is seeking refuge with the grandmother she hasn’t seen for years.
An unlikely bond develops between them, as Ruby helps Iris to record her fading memories of the glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo of World War II, and of her one true love–the enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux–whom she lost to the ravages of conflict.
This long-ago love has shaped Iris’s life, and, as becomes increasingly apparent, those of her daughter and her granddaughter. And it is to affect them all, again, in ways they could not have imagined.
Review: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas is one of the most alluring novels I have read in a while. Rosie Thomas beautifully portrays the city of Cario, Egypt. I got to travel to the city during both the time of World War II and during the present moment where the granddaughter, Ruby is with her grandmother, Iris. Iris’s love and family life spun me back and forth through her memories…it was enchanting. Almost like they were of my own. Ruby’s coming of age experiences and her romantic situations keep readers intrigued. Ruby is undecided about where and what she wants to do…being with her grandmother, Iris, gave her a purpose and helped her grow into the woman that she is becoming. Iris isn’t just any grandmother but once with fascinating stories of love, wisdom, and adventures.
Iris and Ruby is indeed a woman’s fictional piece with travel, adventure, and romance. But there’s also a lot of history brilliant woven through it as well. The realistic representation of the city, country, and danger made for a wonderful cultural piece. Rosie Thomas masterfully wrote a tale that is not only entertaining, inspiring, but also educational. The wisdom of the experiences brought to me within this story was amazing. Something that can be passed on to others everywhere. Family, love, and life are important themes within this exciting read. This was certainly the first novel that I have read by this talented writer. I was surprised how well-developed and well-written the characters and scenes were. I fell in love with the 82-year-old grandmother and felt my heart tug at the ending. Overall, I loved it, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.