Ruby’s Spoon by Anna Lawrence Pietroni

When Jackie at Farm Lane Books mentioned Ruby’s Spoon, it immediately aroused my interest and I absolutely wanted to read this book. Therefore, I was very happy when Kristina Miller from Spiegel & Grau sent me a copy of this great book!  

Ruby’s Spoon is a suspenseful novel revolving around Cradle Cross, a small town in England in the 1930’s. The industrial town is dominated by a declining button factory that has a scary reputation. With its close-knit community, its old-fashioned villagers and their unwritten rules, Cradle Cross is a town where time seems to have stood still. So when a stranger named Isa Fly arrives into town in order to track down her half-sister, everyone is sceptical. From the start, she seems to attract people like a magnet. There’s just something mysterious about Isa, and she seems to cast a spell on everyone she meets. She seems to have bewitched Ruby, a thirteen-year-old girl who is immediately willing to help Isa find her half-sister. Ruby is drawn to Isa and she constantly feels the need to be around her. The young girl seems to long for Isa’s attention and her approval and she wants to help Isa at all cost. But Ruby hopes that she will get something in return – namely that Isa will take her to the sea, if they find Isa’s missing person. Although she senses that there is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to Isa’s arrival in Cradle Cross, Ruby still wants to help this secretive stranger, because she hopes to go away with her. Ruby wants to get away from Cradle Cross because she feels alone there. Her mother has died when she was younger and she has no real relationship with her father. Ruby lives with her grandmother Annie, who is too overprotective and who doesn’t show Ruby any affection. Annie has to deal with a lot of grief as she tries to fight the demons of her past, and she doesn’t really know how to handle Ruby. As a result, the young girl feels neglected and that’s why she feels drawn to Isa. The fascinating woman gives Ruby the attention she needs and takes her seriously. Thus, the curious girl is determined to ask the villagers many questions in order to assist Isa with her search. But the narrow-minded villagers don’t like the fact that Ruby wants to help a complete stranger and they think that Isa’s arrival in town has nothing to do with a missing relative. They think that Isa has to hide something and they begin to be very suspicious of her. The village residents begin to be afraid of Isa and they think that she’s responsible for the misfortunes that have happened lately in Cradle Cross. Moreover, they think that she’s a witch and therefore, the prejudiced villagers won’t leave Isa alone until they have found out why she has really come to Cradle Cross. When many rumours emerge and acts of violence occur, Ruby doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything and she bravely defends Isa against all those cruel accusations. However, what Ruby doesn’t know is the fact that she puts herself in great danger while trying to support Isa. How far will Ruby go to help her friend? And will she be able to unravel Isa’s dark secrets?  

Well, you’ll have to read this engaging book if you want to find out. All I can say is that Ruby’s spoon is the key to everything.  

With Ruby’s Spoon, Anna Lawrence Pietroni has created a fascinating fairy tale with a dark and mystic atmosphere. Cradle Cross is a place where people still believe in witches and mermaids; it’s a town where people hold on to their talismans for protection and perform rituals in order to deal with their grief. The residents of Cradle Cross are hostile to outsiders and they easily find a black sheep when something goes wrong. So when Isa arrives in town, they see that she is different, that she does not belong there, and hence, she is held responsible for all the mishaps. Moreover, they don’t like the fact that she can easily attract so many people with her unique charm. Therefore, they spread rumours about her and even act violently just to take revenge.  

I really found it interesting to read about Cradle Cross and its residents. It made me think about such places and I am sure that even in today’s society, there are still small towns out there, where people are prejudiced and hostile to outsiders.  

Ruby’s Spoon is a magical tale about loss, prejudice, abandonment, revenge and dark family secrets. The novel’s characters are very appealing and the plot is very captivating. As soon as you start reading this book, you will be eager to find out what happens to the protagonists. I really liked this novel and I highly recommend it to everyone out there! 

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The Girl with Glass Feet

The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw

When Vivienne at Serendipity mentioned The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw, I knew that I had to read this book! The book’s cover immediately attracted me and the synopsis piqued my interest.

Jason Liebman from Henry Holt and Company kindly sent me an advance reading copy and I must say that I really enjoyed reading it!

Midas is a shy young man who enjoys being alone, as he doesn’t really know how to talk to people. He has lived on St. Hauda’s Land his entire life, but he barely has any friends. Therefore, Midas has devoted his whole life to photography and when peculiar things begin to take place on the islands, he is eager to capture everything on camera. Odd winged creatures and albino animals seem to have appeared on the islands and other unusual things are happening. However, Midas doesn’t seem too concerned; he is intrigued by these beings and wants to take pictures of them. But everything changes when the young man meets Ida, the girl with glass feet. Her body is inexplicably turning into glass and she desperately searches for a cure. At first, Midas only seems to take an interest in her condition and wants to take pictures of her glass feet, but as they spend time together, he begins to fall in love with her. There is something about the girl’s nature that gradually changes Midas and thus, he begins to blossom into a brave and confident young man. Ida helps him overcome the demons of his past, while Midas helps her come to terms with her affliction. Together, they try to find a cure for her condition, but time is slipping away. Will Midas be able to save his beloved? And what does his father’s death have to do with all of this?

I don’t want to tell you more about this wonderful book, because I think that you should also read it and thus experience this absorbing story yourself! The Girl with Glass Feet is an unusual, magical love story that will touch your heart and will linger in your mind for a long time! I recommend this fanciful novel to everyone out there, since Ali Shaw has done such an excellent job fabricating a beautiful and gripping fairy tale! The author describes the landscape and the characters in a poetic way and he successfully manages to create an elegant world, where reality wonderfully merges with fantasy! All in all, The Girl with Glass Feet is an imaginative novel, full of suspense, magic and marvels. I have never read a book like this before, since it’s so unusual, but at the same time it’s so spectacular! I really loved this heartbreaking novel and I am so glad that I had the chance to read it!

Note: The book is scheduled for release in January 2010!