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Giveaway and Excerpt: IRIS AND RUBY by Rosie Thomas




by Rosie Thomas




Rosie Thomas has been delighting readers with her globe-spanning romantic sagas for more than three decades. Here, in Iris and Ruby, she has writer her most touching story yet, set in the haunting and seductive vistas of Egypt.

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, the lives of her daughter and granddaughter. And it is to affect them all, again, in ways they could not have imagined.


“Ruby, do you remember we talked about you helping me to collect some of my old memories?”


“I think it’s a good idea. I think we should start today.”

“Right. Yeah, absolutely. But you remember what I said about… you know, not being all that great at spelling et cetera?”

The sound of trickling water fills the garden.

“What? Yes, you did tell me. We’ll find a way.”

I am eager to begin…

So we find ourselves, later when the day is beginning to cool, sitting in our places in the garden.  Ruby has a notebook in her lap and she grips a pencil so tightly that the knuckle of her thumb is white.

Silence stretches between us, then stretches again.

Anyway, now that I have come to it I realize that the whole idea is absurd.

Memory is not a recipe or a shopping list. Memory is the scent of clear water at an oasis, the brush of lips on naked skin, a plangent chord. I cannot capture these things and dictate them to another person. I am a doctor, not a poet. There is nothing I can say.

After more silence, Ruby’s eyes meet mine.

“Are you stuck? What about starting with a day? Just pick a random day that you remember. How old were you?”

“Twenty-two,” I say without thinkimg.

“What happened?”

Author Bio:

Thomas_Rosie_courtesy of the author

Rosie Thomas is the author of numerous critically acclaimed, bestselling novels, including Constance and The Kashmir Shawl, and has twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award. Those novels, as well as her most recent works of fiction—The Illusionists and Daughter of the House—are also available from Overlook.

Welcome – this is the official Rosie Thomas website.


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