Mourning Ruby review Ñ 104


10 thoughts on “Mourning Ruby

  1. says:

    This book is both one of the best I’ve read in a long time and uite disappointing The excellent part has to do with Rebecca and Adam’s loss of their daughter—and the author treats the subject with sensitivity and heart wrenching realism The disappointing part is that a considerable portion of the last half of the book is a short story written by a friend of Rebecca’s I always feel a bit cheated when an author slips a basically unrelated story into a narrative ASByatt does this as well Is this the only way to get the piece published? Did the author run out of steam with the main plot? If I were writing an essay for a college English class I could draw strong parallels between the main narrative and the short story and probably justify it’s inclusion—but really—I’d rather not


  2. says:

    This is a rather frustrating book to me On the one hand the writing in the mechanical sense sentence and imagery etc is lovely and sometimes breathtaking On the other hand the actual story is disappointing I am not one who reuires plot heavy stories to be satisfied with a book but I do reuire something that at least connects in meaningful ways This one for me just didn't The phrase the sum of the whole is greater than its parts comes to mind here except in the case of Mourning Ruby the opposite is true The parts are much greater than their sum The author has several little figments of story each of which could be incredibly interesting if developed Unfortunately they aren't I suppose that could be the point but it left me feeling cheated The overall story which I took to be the main character Rebecca's progress in her grief didn't connect with me That arc was disjointed and too vague to make an impression It could be that I just didn't care much for Rebecca Another character Joe makes a comment at one point that she cares nothing for herself I did not find that to be the case I found she was extremely wrapped up in herself with little regard to the fact that her husband too had lost a child I think this is probably natural with grief and I could have actually embraced that fact had Rebecca been developed than she was This was a problem with nearly every character and I think that's why the overall arc falls flat with me However there are parts of this book when Helen Dun works magic Some of the way she shows Rebecca's grief are beautiful And that's why I finished the book because of those moments Unfortunately the story was too disconnected and vague to leave a very lasting impact on me


  3. says:

    The first part of this book had me so gripped I couldn't sleep as former abandoned child Rebecca and her husband Adam mourned the loss of their only daughter But part way through it became a thoroughly weak tale written by Rebecca's friend Joe from where it descended rapidly into cliche and plot 'twists' heralded from a mile off At one point Dun so lost interest in telling the rest of Joe's 'plucky prostitute in love with doomed WW1 airman' story she continued it as notes The best part of the tale is that of Rebecca's boss a showman turned hotelier but it is treated as a throw away in order to get back to Joe By the end I was only continuing to see if the grizzly bears surrounding his writing retreat in Vancouver had got hungry enough to do all disgruntled readers a favour Best avoided


  4. says:

    At first I really enjoyed this book Dun's writing style is beautiful However there just seem to be so many storylines packed into uite a short book and I ended up feeling disappointed by the end as none of them seemed to come to any sort of ending It felt too fragmented for me and I ended up feeling a little confused as the book went from one storyline to another without giving you time to really 'fall in love with' the characters


  5. says:

    This book describes the agony of a parent losing a child of grief and not letting go In Western cultures we'd grieve and then tell another person to get on with it if the grieving is prolonged An Asian person would be able to understand how the dead continued to live on The first section of the book was warm and sorrowful Dun's style is fluid and evocative her characters are real people However the sections of the book in which Joe's writing is included are weak I kinda understand why she included them how art can transform experience; however the writing is not strong and the section where she includes Joe's notes on character I see enough of my notes that I don't want to read someone else'sSo the wonderful sections on Rebecca Adam Ruby and Rebecca's relationship with Joe are wonderful; the rest can be skippedI'm looking forward to getting a hold of Dun's book of short stories Ice Cream


  6. says:

    How does this happen? How can an author who writes such stellar books such as The Seige write a dud like Mourning RubyOne hundred pages into it and I uit counted my loss and moved along It was good enough to keep hoping that it would get better Alas I was trickedChecking other reviews I find the same thoughts as mine ie too many plots too many images that float all over kingdom come too much rambling and way too much convolutionA tragic loss of a five year old child is a substantial plot yet Dun flies all over the place with snipets of characters and their thoughts If the thoughts don't add to the story who cares?I hate it when I'm left feeling stupid because I didn't comprehend what the heck she was trying to sayI have no idea what Dun was hoping to accomplish If she was trying to be highly intellectual or highly artistic she failedNOT recommended


  7. says:

    I didn't really enjoy this book The first section was the better bit although as the mother of children around Ruby's age I found it very hard to read and I did cry uite a bit But then it went into Joe's story that he was writing and it lost its way I'm sure there was supposed to be a connection but to be honest I got to the stage where I just wanted to get it read and move on so I didn't spend to long trying to make those connectionsIt felt like a muddled book with too many ideas


  8. says:

    I do not know if I can express how personal this book felt to me If readers are looking for a novel with a tidy narrative arch this is not that book MOURNING RUBY by Helen Dun 2004 does not provide the tidy happy or sad ending The real world is messy and interwoven and stunningly beautiful It crushes you and forces you to look at events you wished had never happened it catches you up in longing and joy and throws you into the cold sea From the title we know her daughter has died that this has crushed Rebecca's world I know her story I know her need to circle around and around without looking at what happens because she cannot stop seeing it cannot stop irrationally bargaining for some other turn of fate that need is always there blotting out the rest of the world Finally she tells us You can write about memory forever You can do it to avoid writing about what happened It's one way out of it Tell a story tell another story Stories falling thick as snow to bury what happened this is what happened 91 It is much than grief it is love and passion and the way our lives touch others the way we pay for our imagined sins and achieve forgiveness You will have to take my word for it that the way it ends makes me smile and feel grateful both for this book and for my own life


  9. says:

    On the back cover of Mourning Ruby it says “Like a Russian doll this novel opens to reveal a brilliant richness of stories locked within” Unfortunately the stories simply don’t hang together Although I did believe in Rebecca’s grief I did not believe in Mr Damiano’s stories I also found that I was relating to Joe and Rebecca’s friendship than the love affair between Rebecca and Adam I also found that ultimately Joe’s manuscript undermined the final scenes of the novel


  10. says:

    Mourning Ruby is or less about a mother who is grieving the tragic loss of her five year old daughter But the or less part cannot be overlooked If it weren't for the title and the ominous cover picture featuring a little girl skipping in the leaves in a red dress the reader would have no idea what this book is about for uite some time It begins with a prologue that is a dream seuence told in the first person of the narrator Ruby's mother Rebecca and Ruby walking along a road I thought that a novel should never open with a dream; it's a cheap techniue too easily and often used And unfortunately the book continues that way although a lot of the techniues are original After the prologue Rebecca describes what happened to her when she herself was a baby which was that her mother left her in a shoebox outside an Italian restaurant She was then adopted by parents who seem not to care for her much and the feelings are mutual She tells her own story in such a removed and distant way that it is hard to relate to her Plus the tone of the writing is confusing and the plot starts jumping all over the place Soon we learn that Rebecca lived with a guy who was in love with her but those feelings weren't mutual His name is Joe and he writes historical non fiction He's in the middle of writing a book about Stalin's second wife and this story takes up a good chunk of the first part of the book That story could be rather interesting but Joe tells it to Rebecca in a series of long drawn out conversations in which he makes clear that she is not interested in what he is talking about So why should the reader be? I never really figured that out although I did enjoy reading about collectivist Russia We also learn that Rebecca has a husband named Adam but the relationship between them doesn't seem very convincing He is a doctor who saves newborn babies ironically Some things seem like easy plot devices which aren't very realistic such as Rebecca working part time in a bar while her husband is doctoring Another central sub plot in Mourning Ruby is the story of Rebecca and her boss Mr Damiano for whom she goes to work after Ruby's death To me he was the most interesting character and his story was the most captivating albeit even unrealistic than the relationship between Rebecca and Adam His family performed in circuses in Madrid and his little sister suffered a tragedy almost as devastating as Ruby's death Mr Damiano likes to re create dream worlds obviously a theme underlying the novel and bring pleasure to people as his business He owns a chain of hotels all named after minor to rather obsure poets Sidney Lampedusa Villon Langland Sonescu Cavafy Sexton and Bishop Poetry and written language play a central part in this novel In fact an obvious theme is a writer writing about writing which I found at times to be both interesting and annoying For instance each chapter and many of them are very short starts out with a rather strange title and a snippet of a poem excerpt from a book or folk song I found these snippets to be distracting because I wanted to know where they came from and how they related to the book and what the rest of the snippet was all about Like much about the book this information is never revealed to the reader except at the very end when Dun includes a list of sources which include her own poetry Also in line with the literary theme Joe tells Rebecca near the beginning of the book that the Russian poet Mandelstam once wrote about baby airplanes as a metapher for writing poetry one airplane in full flight gives birth to another airplane which then flies off and gives birth to another airplane Dun weaves this theme into the novel as a way to show how one story gives life to another and all stories are connected I suppose that Rebecca is trying to find her own life story but the rather interesting plot line about her birth and her upbringing as an adopted child is abandoned rather early on It's hard to care about a book when each story drops off after it gives birth to the next one Ruby's death is the only main theme that continues throughout the book but it's hard to connect to because so many other stories are swarming around itMost frustrating of all for me wasn't the fact that so many stories were told but rather it was the way they were told Much of the prose during Rebecca's narration is beautiful the jacket cover states that Dun is a poet and short story writer so I might like to check her out in these contexts in which the language and style might work better for me than it did in a novel The flowery language however seemed to detract from the plot for me and made it hard for me to related to Rebecca as a real character And some of the stories that had the potential to be the most exciting were told in the dullest manners possible Mr Damiano's fascinating life story is told much like the history of Stalin that Joe is writing in long strings of conversation which to me took a lot away from the potential captivating action I was unsure why Dun chose to do this even though I got that she had this over riding theme of writing about writing and writing about stories within storiesMid way through Mourning Ruby the point of view changes and we are seeing Joe told from the omniscient perspective without Rebecca there and also Adam in the same way To me this was disappointing and destroyed any integrity the novel was supposed to have It was another easy way out The last part of the book is part of a novel that Joe sends to Rebecca ostensibly to help her figure out her own story I found part of this plot interesting as it was about a prostitute named Florence who lived in France during the First World War The Madame of the house was the only strong female character in the book I thought it was annoying how Rebecca learned everything about herself through the three main male characters although Florence by the end portion of Joe's unfinished work of fiction was starting to develop into a strong character as well Joe tells Rebecca that he hasn't finished the book and so he encloses character and plot notes which we the poor readers are forced to suffer through right when we were into the story of Florence and uite awhile after we had totally lost track of the story of Rebecca and RubyOverall Mourning Ruby was one of the most discombobulated novels I have ever read At first it left me feeling disoriented and then once I got my bearings it usually left me feeling disappointed At times the language was captivating and at other times the plot was too These times were nearly canceled out however by the parts that seemed to be told in a hurry of rushed dialogue The concept is certainly ambitious and I like some of the ideas behind the novel but I think they were executed rather poorly with style valued much than substance I did enjoy the writing theme but it was much too much definitely overkill I enjoyed reading about the different places and time periods Most of the parts featuring Rebecca all of which are contemporary are set in Cornwall and some in London Dun is a British writer I also enjoyed reading about historical France and historical and modern day Russia where Joe briefly resides and where Rebecca and Adam go to visit him in a rather twisted love triangle So I can't say I regret reading this uniue book but it certainly wasn't one of my favorites I give it two and a half out of five starsFor book reviews and other posts of interest to readers and writers please visit my blog More book reviews at Voracia Goddess of Words


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Read ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ç Helen Dunmore

Mourning Ruby

Dun's most ambitious work to date Mourning Ruby is a meditation on memory and history both personal and public It's an unforgettable tale of love loss and the transcendent power of storytelling itsel I didn't really enjoy this book The first section was the better bit although as the mother of children around Ruby's age I found it very hard to read and I did cry uite a bit But then it went into Joe's story that he was writing and it lost its way I'm sure there was supposed to be a connection but to be honest I got to the stage where I just wanted to get it read and move on so I didn't spend to long trying to make those connectionsIt felt like a muddled book with too many ideas

characters Mourning Ruby

About thirty years ago a mother laid her newborn baby in a shoebox and left it in the backyard of an Italian restaurant Now the baby Rebecca is a mother herself A child of no one and nowhere she has This book is both one of the best I’ve read in a long time and uite disappointing The excellent part has to do with Rebecca and Adam’s loss of their daughter—and the author treats the subject with sensitivity and heart wrenching realism The disappointing part is that a considerable portion of the last half of the book is a short story written by a friend of Rebecca’s I always feel a bit cheated when an author slips a basically unrelated story into a narrative ASByatt does this as well Is this the only way to get the piece published? Did the author run out of steam with the main plot? If I were writing an essay for a college English class I could draw strong parallels between the main narrative and the short story and probably justify it’s inclusion—but really—I’d rather not

Read ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook Ç Helen Dunmore

Created her own unorthodox but tender family Then this hopeful life is dealt a blow that could shatter even the strongest of ties Now Rebecca must face the future by delving into her mysterious past At first I really enjoyed this book Dun's writing style is beautiful However there just seem to be so many storylines packed into uite a short book and I ended up feeling disappointed by the end as none of them seemed to come to any sort of ending It felt too fragmented for me and I ended up feeling a little confused as the book went from one storyline to another without giving you time to really 'fall in love with' the characters

  • Paperback
  • 304
  • Mourning Ruby
  • Helen Dunmore
  • English
  • 06 February 2019
  • 9780425200193

About the Author: Helen Dunmore

I was born in December in Yorkshire the second of four children My father was the eldest of twelve and this extended family has no doubt had a strong influence on my life as have my own children In a large family you hear a great many stories You also come to understand very early that stories hold uite different meanings for different listeners and can be recast from many viewpoints.