From the beloved author of Necklace of Kisses comes a modern-day fairy tale of a willful and intuitive heroine and a world of shocking realism and transcendent magic.
Francesca Lia Block, this time with co-writer Carmen Staton, introduces readers to Ruby, a Midwestern girl named for the jewel that is believed to ward off evil spirits. Ruby's special gift is a sixth sense that makes her at one with nature and gives her the ability to know her own destiny.
After growing up in an abusive family, Ruby escapes to Los Angeles and learns of her soulmate -- Orion -- a British actor. She travels to England, where she works at a potions and herbs shop, and through a series of coincidental circumstances, ends up nursing Orion back to health without confessing that she has been on a quest to find him all along. But just when she thinks her dream is becoming a reality, Ruby is stopped in her tracks by the violent demons of her past. Only by facing the darkness together can she and Orion finally fulfill their destiny.
As with Necklace of Kisses, Block, here with Staton, breaks the mold. In Ruby, readers will find a story about the power of our minds to overcome the past and ultimately change the course of our lives.
YA author Block (the Weetzie Bat books) collaborates on a novel yet maintains her trademarks: fairy tale simplicity combined with wrenching emotional realism, served with a hefty side of over-the-top romance. It's told mostly from the perspective of premonition-prone Ruby, who, along with her sister, Opal, grows up terrorized by a chillingly abusive father while their loving but eerily passive mother looks on. Interspersed throughout are vignettes from the life of a British boy named Orion Woolf, who grows up with a kind but deceitful sorceress mother, Isabelle, and blooms into dangerous beauty. Ruby, seeking solace from a bad relationship, moves to Los Angeles and works as a nanny for a movie producer whose film stars Orion, who has become an Orlando Bloomesque star. Instantly smitten, Ruby buys a plane ticket to England, where she traipses through a psychedelic London, lands in Orion's ultra-bucolic hometown, finds a job in Isabelle's magic shop and hones her innate powers. When a badly ailing Orion comes home to hide from the world, Ruby uses her gifts to nurse him back to health though, as her intensifying flashbacks to the horrors of her childhood gradually reveal, she may be even more in need of healing.