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Ruby Among Us: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Tina Ann Forkner
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

Lucy DiCamillo is safely surrounded by her books, music, and art–but none of these reclusive comforts or even the protective efforts of her grandmother, Kitty, can shield her thoughts from the mother she can barely recall. Lucy senses her grandmother holds the key, but Kitty seems as eager to hide the past as Lucy is eager to find it.

From the streets of San Francisco and Sacramento to the lush vineyards of the Sonoma Valley, Lucy follows the thread of memory in search of a heritage that seems long-buried with her mother, Ruby.

What she finds is as enigmatic and stirring as it is startling in this redemptive tale about the power of faith and mother-daughter love.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Forkner's debut novel about family secrets never quite gets off the ground. When Ruby DiCamillo dies unexpectedly from asthma, her eight-year-old daughter Lucy blames herself for not reaching her mother's inhaler in time. As she grows into a young woman, her grandmother Kitty overprotects her, filling her life with art, music and schoolwork but leaving wide gaps in her knowledge of family history. When Lucy insists on learning about her heritage, the secrets are as complicated as her grandmother's intricate quilts. Fortner struggles with creating successful flashbacks, and the pacing drags. In several places the plot takes a contrived twist (a photo conveniently falling out of an album, a chance meeting in a coffee shop) in order to move forward. Most difficult to believe is that the key tragedy that has shaped the family's history has kept Lucy's grandmother estranged from her family for so long. However, Fortner creates some memorable descriptions, and readers of faith should appreciate the strong Christian themes of this novel and its redemptive ending.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“In this memorable debut novel, the characters are well written and interesting…Readers will not want this story to end.” - Awarded 4 1/2 Stars - Romantic Times Book Reviews

“Ms. Forkner has given us a gift that like fine music rises at an ever-spiraling pace. Neither rushed nor delayed, Ruby Among Us offers a satisfying journey I will long remember.”
Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning author of A Mending at the Edge

“Highly recommended. If you’re a mother or daughter, you’re going to love Ruby Among Us. Forkner does an extraordinary job…. I look forward to more from this author.”
–Ane Mulligan, Novel Journey

“A multi-generational saga of hope, regret, and the grace that brings us home, Ruby Among Us evokes an invitational sense of place, a cache of characters you enjoy knowing, and a story that rips and mends your heart all at once.”
Mary E. DeMuth, author of Watching the Tree Limbs and Wishing on Dandelions

“So engaging from the first sentence. I found myself holding my breath as I read. Tina has painted the pictures so real. I love the honesty and innocence. Mothers and daughters alike will feel very connected with this book.”
Cindy Morgan Brouwer, singer/songwriter

“Don’t miss this one! Tina Ann Forkner is a strong new voice in fiction and Ruby Among Us is an amazing story of trials, regrets, and, ultimately, redemption. Lucy and her family history in the historic wine country of Sonoma bring to life the Scriptures about the Vine and His branches.”
Kristin Billerbeck, author of The Trophy Wives Club

Ruby Among Us is a haunting, beautifully-told novel of past secrets and present pain. Lovely, lovely voice and story. A remarkable debut by Tina Ann Forkner,...

Product Details

  • File Size: 414 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press (June 3, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,033,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Truth and Healing May 28, 2008
Ruby Among Us is a coming of age novel that wends its way through the lives of three women and the men who have loved them. Exploring the complexity of a young woman's fight to know the truth and an older woman's desire to protect her granddaughter from it results in a slow waltz of control, passion, fear and longing. Moments that shine of allegorical truth swirl within the story of Lucy and Kitty who live steeped in sorrow and guilt in parallel companionship that is only an inch deep.

Decades of story unfold when Lucy struggles to find out the truth about her mother's short life. Her quest takes her from a college campus to a vineyard, from death to death of innocence and from longing to sorrow to acceptance.

In the advanced reader's unproofed copy I struggled with some POV/tense issues that no doubt have been taken care of in the final version.

Inspirational fiction fans should find quite a bit to like in Ruby. Literary or romance fans may not find enough of either to really satisfy though there are flashes of each. The faith elements are realistically handled and some heavy duty topics are covered with grace and sensitivity.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars superb character study May 24, 2008
Her mother Ruby died when Lucy DiCamillo was eight years old. Her maternal grandmother Kitty raised Lucy with love. Now an adult, Lucy wants to know more about her late mom than mostly the memories shared by her beloved grandmother, but fears any inquiries she makes might hurt Kitty.

Lucy slowly learns why Ruby was a single mom raising her. She also begins to gain other pieces of her mom's life before Lucy was born and over the eight years they lived together. As she begins uncover secrets that enable her to start to know her mom beyond just her grandmother's memories of her daughter, Lucy also understands much more what makes Kitty tick and she realizes her granny will always love and cherish her.

This is a superb character study of a young adult needing her own personal connection to her late mom who died when she was a child. As Lucy investigates her maternal family tree, she tries to do so without hurting her grandma; yet begins to have a nagging feeling that everyone else knows secrets they keep from her. Fans will accompany Lucy on her personal quest as she needs to feel Ruby amongst her.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Inspirational Garden August 18, 2008
This lovely, sweet story is like a gentle stroll in a rose garden. There are velvety blooms of love; thorns of past hurts and fears; new buds of hope and innocence; tangled thick stems of hidden truths and lies; the faded blooms of past memories and of what might have been; and at the center the beautiful, heart-warming discovery of the most beautiful flowers of all: faith and unconditional love. Readers of inspirational stories will especially enjoy this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super! August 9, 2008
"Ruby Among Us" is a great book. I enjoyed most its depth. All the characters are layered and real, not cookie-cutter. I think this is one of those books which, every time you read it, you will notice something you had not thought about before. Makes it a great book. Forkner has definitely premiered well with Ruby.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Among Us July 9, 2008
I don't usually shed tears when reading a book. This one brought on the tears. Ms. Forkner makes her characters come alive. It is an engrossing story that captivates until the very end.

Rachel for Siloam Springs Writers
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Among Us -- Don't Miss This One! June 13, 2008
I didn't know what to expect when I received Ruby Among Us in the mail, but it didn't take long for the story to pull me in. Michelle Sutton expresses it well when she says that the story starts heavy, but the weight is necessary to understand why Lucy, the protagonist thinks, acts and feels the way she does. She yearns to remember her mother Ruby who died when Lucy was eight years old, yet grandmother Kitty is hesitant to fill in the many missing pieces of the puzzle that makes up their heritage.

As time passes the pieces of her family's past fall into place for Lucy and she finds she has come full circle, rediscovering herself and a faith in God she thought she never had.

I loved this book. Forkner's writing style brings alive the setting in a way that the Sonoma Valley becomes a character on its own. She opens up her characters hearts and draws the reader inside until you almost feel as though you are one with them.

I look forward to many more books from Ms. Forkner.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book June 11, 2008
I generally shy away from reading books by a brand new author, but I was glad I made an exception in this case. Ruby Among Us is a positively beautiful story! I loved the vivid descriptions throughout the book of the gardens, the vineyards, and the town of La Roseleda itself. The author kept me turning the pages waiting to discover secrets that had been kept in this family for many years. The only thing I thought lacking in this book was the Christian message. To me, it was very subtle. I noticed the themes of grace and forgiveness, but there was very little shared about personal relationships with Christ.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down!! June 5, 2008
Ruby Among Us was a fantastic book. Tina did a great job of bringing the characters to life. I felt like I really knew them. I found myself becoming angry at Kitty for what she had kept from Lucy and Ruby. I loved how the ending pulled together, it was absolutely beautiful. I cried tears of joy. I am looking forward to future books by Tina Ann Forkner.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful book of multi-generational love!
Tina's descriptive writing style draw the reader into a beautiful script and movie set. you feel like you are somehow in the room with the characters. You can smell the roses. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TexShopHer
4.0 out of 5 stars The scenic view
Sometimes getting to the most scenic view at the top of a mountain takes a little extra time, and the same is true of this lovely book. Read more
Published on January 9, 2011 by Sherry Shaffer Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Ruby Among Us
I happened to read "Rose House" the second in the series first and loved it. It wasn't until I finished the 2nd that I saw there was "Ruby Among Us" #1. Read more
Published on February 10, 2010 by Susie-Q
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I started to read this book sharing the focus of the story on Lucy and the loss of her mother, Ruby. Read more
Published on October 2, 2009 by Library Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars A Novel You Will Never Forget
All I can say is "Good luck putting this book down." I have longed for a novel that would capture my soul and move the spirit within me; "Ruby Among Us" did so much more. Read more
Published on May 12, 2009 by Cherie Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Forgiveness
Lucy is only eight years old when her mother Ruby dies from an asthma attack. Kitty, Lucy's grandmother raises her and loves her as her own. Read more
Published on February 20, 2009 by Cool Librarian
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich Debut Novel
Tina Forkner's debut novel Ruby Among Us is beautifully written and transports you to the lush, rich Sonoma Valley. Read more
Published on February 15, 2009 by Megan Dimaria
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring
Ruby Among Us is an inspiring novel about faith and forgiveness and the relationships between mothers and daughters. Read more
Published on February 13, 2009 by Tara of Tara's View of the World
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful story in a beautiful setting
Without giving anything away, I must say that I loved the ending of this book. I love how it shows that it is never too late to go home again. Read more
Published on February 11, 2009 by C. Kendall
4.0 out of 5 stars Prodigal story...
I read this book and realized how a wife would feel as the story unraveled. The filth of being violated, yet it was somehow better to have your husband think you were unfaithful,... Read more
Published on February 10, 2009 by Martha A.
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More About the Author

Tina Ann Forkner is the author of RUBY AMONG US and ROSE HOUSE (Random House/Waterbrook). Her forthcoming novel WAKING UP JOY releases 10/8/14 from Tule Publishing Group. RUBY AMONG US earned 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times Book Review. Tina's second novel, ROSE HOUSE, was described by as "a lovely rendering of working through grief and learning to live fully again, despite the abiding wounds of loss." When she isn't writing, Tina is a substitute teacher and lives with her family in Wyoming.

"Reading is a passion of mine, and when I find myself identifying with the characters, anxious to get to the next page to find answers to my questions, I know I'm into a good book! The daughter-mother-grandmother theme in Ruby Among Us pulled me in. Wonderful story-telling." -JORDIN SPARKS, Music Artist & 2007 American Idol Winner.

"A skillfully written, moving tale of women (and their men) who find that love covers a multitude of sins. Tina Ann Forkner weaves this story together with great detail and, like the quilts that are such an integral part of the novel, pieces it together with beautiful results." -DEBBIE SMITH, songwriter with her husband, Michael W. Smith


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