Iris & Ruby
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Iris & Ruby

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  897 ratings  ·  124 reviews
Na quente e poeirenta cidade do Cairo, vive Iris de 82 anos. Mas a sua casa sossegada e claustrofóbica no velho Cairo, é subitamente agitada pela chegada da sua teimosa e obstinada neta Ruby. Fugindo de uma relação conflituosa com a família, ela procura consolo com a avó que não via há anos.

Um inesperado laço surge entre elas à medida que as duas se tornam confidentes. Iri...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2007 by Saída de Emergência (first published 2006)
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This book was on my shelf for a long time but since it looked like the perfect summer read I finally picked it up prior to going on vacation.

It is the story of a teenage girl, Ruby, who runs away from home to reside in Cairo with her grandmother, Iris. Ruby hasn't seen her grandmother in years and upon learning that her grandmother's recollection of her one true love and the years in Cairo during WW2 are slowing slipping away, Ruby resolves to help her recall and reach for those memories.

"Like s...more
I frequently find that my self chosen reading material is a good barometer of how much is going on in my life at any given moment. The light stuff represents chaos, the heavier means there is enough cognitive capacity left to think about what is trying to be said.

This then is a perfect example of the right book at the right time. It is reasonably light yet it gave me some excellent reflective pieces about life love and relationships.

An inter-generational story based around dislocation with one...more
Laura Lynch
"Iris & Ruby" is the story of two women trying to find themselves. Iris is an elderly, retired doctor who is growing more forgetful and is trying to reconnect to her past. Her nineteen year old grand daughter Ruby is a bit of a rebel and looking for her place in the world.

Ruby who has not seen her grandmother in years, shows up at Iris’’ doorstep in Cairo. The two connect bringing past and present together looking at old and new love. The narration is a little confusing at times as the stor...more
Haythem Bastawy
Iris and Ruby is a very exciting novel with all the comparisons between the old and the new and glimpses of the future too. The story is set partly is WW2 Cairo and partly in the modern day one. The historical part is the memories of Iris and the new one is the story of Iris and Ruby. The novel is full of details from scents and smells to senses, feelings, fabrics and colours which brought the story to life especially the part set during WW2.

I really enjoyed it and recommend it to historical fic...more
A detailed and moving story of three women - Iris, her daughter Lesley and granddaughter Ruby. Moving from Cairo in the 1940s, England and back to modern Cairo, it tracks the delicate and layered relationship between the three.

Beautiful writing - the clever, brief detail ensures you are there in the decayed glamour of modern Cairo and the same city of the frenetic 1940s when Rommel was threatening to over-run it.

Passion, friendship, true morality and release of repression run through the book. M...more
What brought my attention to this book was that my name is Iris and my beautiful "child" (miniature pinscher!) is named Ruby. I had to have this book

However, family dramas with the trifecta problems of Crone (Grandmother), Mother (Daughter/Mom), and young Girl (Daughter/Granddaughter) always reach to my heart. This book was well worth the read and we understood why the grandmother was very tough. Her descriptions of her past life in Egypt is exceptionally beautiful, and I can see myself in the s...more
Great descriptions of Egypt and the relationship between Iris and Ruby is excellent.
I have to add more to this - was thinking about this book at 5am this morning!
The relationship between Ruby and the young Egyptian boy is excellent too and the description of how his family live and what they live amongst is really haunting.
Also, a small point, but the descriptions and details of the markets, the journeys through the streets and the beautiful inner courtyard of the house are fantastic.

Iris Black is living out her final years in a once grand but now decaying Cairo house but her isolated world is turned upside down when her teenage granddaughter, Ruby, appears unexpectedly. Ruby is running away from a personal tragedy and a difficult relationship with her mother. Ruby and Iris haven't seen each other for years the intrusion creates tension and resentment from all in the Cairo household.
However, to avoid being sent back to England Ruby tries to make herself useful and offers to...more
A bittersweet story about love and family.
It's well written and full of emotion and I can tell you I cry each time I read this book. The story switches back and forth between present day and World War Two. Both the story of how Iris and Ruby slowly get to know each other and the story of Iris' romance in WWII are compelling and beautiful, while intertwining with each other seemlessly. I especially love the parts of the book that are set in the past, which have a dreamlike quality to it. Part of...more
I loved this book - I couldn't put it down. I love the relationships explored here and especially the charcter Iris the grandmother and her intense love for her fiance Xan. I was intrigued by the way her love for this man shaped her life after the war and also the way she questioned her role throughout the war and how she wanted to do something more useful and meaningful.
I found myself looking back at my own grandparents and the lives my grandmothers had during the war. We sometimes forget that...more
Note: Actually a 3.5.
One of those lucky library visits where you half catch sight of a title out of the corner of your eye. Looks familiar. You pick it up. You remember putting it on your Goodreads tbr list, but it's not like you're dying to read it or anything. But you decide to take a punt anyway. In this case - good decision.

I really enjoyed this book. A lot. For one thing, it's set in Cairo, where I went years ago on holiday. I don't know if I'll ever be lucky enough to get back, but in the...more
Joanna Mcdonald
Iris and Ruby is a fantastic book about how the most intimate and caring relationships can come from the people you least expect.

Ruby is a typical teenager who decides to run away to Egypt to visit her Grandmother (whom she's not seen since she was a child). After the initial shock of having her granddaughter turn up unannounced after so many years, Iris begins to soften towards Ruby.

And then an incredible relationship forms between granddaughter and grandmother.

When they find themselves in a da...more
Dreda Corlett
Read as a book club choice. It seems that dysfunctional families and people are what makes many of the novels written. This gives you a situation viewed from very different age groups and the possibility of some reconciliation between warring family members. Ending too neat and rather annoying, but on the whole, worth a read. I became quite fond of the characters despite wanting to give them a good shake.
I knew just a couple of pages in that I'd read this book before, but had convinced myself from the cover that I'd found a new Rosie Thomas. It didn't make any difference because, once started, I couldn't 'not' finish it. Her characters live, and I recognised aspects of myself within them. The Cairo background is skilfully recreated in these pages,and the story is told with warmth and compassion.
After enjoying Sun at Midnight a few months ago, I was pleased to find this book abandoned on a shelf in the house where I'm staying. I suppose it could be classified as chick-lit, but if it is, it's very high-class chick-lit. It took a little while to get into, but it became an engaging read, with characters who genuinely developed and grew on you. Ideal holiday reading, and the ending is much, much better than the disappointing end of Sun at Midnight. The very vivid descriptions of life in war...more
I loved this book....a book about the young and the old....a young girl, looking for meaning and understanding and an old woman, whose has lived and loved. The author reminds us that the "old" is ripe with tales, that young people cannot imagine. Behind the wrinkles there is a story you just need to ask......
Confesso que comecei a ler um pouco a medo pois já li vários livros da autora e os ultimos desiludiram-me um pouco.
Li "Sol à Meia Noite" que adorei, mas depois "Encontros" e "Extravagâncias" ficaram bem longe daquilo que estava à espera desta autora.
Com este "Iris & Ruby" voltei a acreditar ;)
Adorei a forma de escrever da autora saltando repentinamente do presente para o passado e vice versa.
A história de uma avó e uma neta que não se conheciam e de repende se tornam as melhores amiga...more
Patricia Rodrigues
Foi a primeira vez que li algo da autora e foi uma agradável surpresa, pois esperava um livro daqueles mais românticos.
Iris vive no Cairo, afastada da sua família até ao dia em que Ruby, a sua neta, aparece em sua casa, decidida a ficar lá.
Ao longo do livro, vamos conhecendo o passado de Iris e a sua grande história de amor, mas vamos também conhecendo Ruby.
A autora aposta em constantes saltos no tempo e também no narrador, mas consegue-o fazer de forma a não ser confuso para o leitor.
Temos aind...more
This book was perfect summer holiday reading -- the description was wonderful and I could imagine it so much better sitting on a balcony at night listening to the sea and the cicadas. I liked the evocation of Cairo during WWII (I knew nothing about it before reading this, and now I want to know more) and I found Ruby's journey heartwarming. And Lesley! Her journey too, brief though it was. I preferred reading about Iris as a young woman simply because it was awkward reading about her as an elder...more
I really enjoyed this book. Ruby runs away from home after the death of her boyfriend and seeks her Grandmother Iris who lives in Cairo. Her Grandmother lives in a big old run down house with her two faithful servants of many years, but her health is failing and her memories with it. Iris comes alive when she recounts to Ruby the story of her great love which took place during the war.Alongside this is the current story of Iris, Ruby and her mother Lesley. Rosie Thomas is a great storyteller and...more
Sue Upton
Great read... Enjoyed the back story of wartime Cairo more than the contemporary one, although they do connect. Rosie Thomas is a new author for me, and I have bought another of her novels on the strength of this one...
Beverley Padfield
Really good read about mother, daughter and granddaughter in the city Cairo. Highly recommend !
This was a quick read for me. Not in the sense that it was an 'easy' read, but rather that I couldn't put it down when I started. Ruby was infuriating though, which is why Ive only been able to give the novel 4/5 stars. I understand that Ruby's journey was the theme of the novel, but she started from such a low point that / for me at least/ she had to improve anyway. I loved Iris, and felt for Ruby's mother (whose name escapes me at the moment). All in all, I felt Iris had so much to give, and h...more
Rosie did good thanks
This is the story of a typical, strong headed and willful teenage girl, Ruby who runs away from her home in England to find her estranged grandmother, who is a lonely, and now feeble, retired doctor living in the bustling city of Cairo, Egypt. They form an unlikely bond as the Grandmother wants to tell Ruby her story of love and loss when she was a young woman working in Cairo during WWII. Ruby soon learns to love living in Cairo and exploring the busy city and surrounding deserts. Makes me want...more
P.G. Glynn
I always enjoy Rosie Thomas novels and in this one especially liked the relationship that developed between Iris Black and her teenage granddaughter, Ruby, who turned up unexpectedly at Iris's characterful old house in Cairo. Maybe this was partly because I had a special relationship with my own grandmother.

I felt by the end that I knew Cairo well and I was also intrigued by the love of long ago between Iris and the charismatic Captain Xan Molyneux, which has a profound effect on the whole famil...more
Donna Thicke
I enjoyed this book...the history, the bonding of the three generations of women and the author' s style of writing.
Elizabeth Barter
I loved the generational stories as they bring togather the grand daughter and her grandmother.It
seems that the two women were rebels and are destined to find each other.Rosie Thomas writes about
the relationships between women with an insight that the reader identifies with immediately.Her characters are strong and vunerable the way we all are.Her books are often lyrical and once you the reader finishes the novel you feel like you are saying goodbye to old friends.
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Janey King, née Morris was born on 1947 in Denbigh, Wales, and also grew up in North Wales. She read English at Oxford, and after a spell in journalism and publishing began writing fiction after the birth of her first child. Published since 1982 as Rosie Thomas, she has written fourteen best-selling novels, deal with the common themes of love and loss. She is one of only a few authors to have won...more
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“I will continue my path, but I will keep a memory always.” 136 likes
“Like so many plain cups on the shelves. You can reach for them, use them without thinking. Most of them don't matter. Sometimes you lose your grip on one of them and it falls and smashes to piece, and you shrug and say to yourself, what a pity. Then you reach for the cup that you use every day, one that you love and use so often that as you stretch out your hand it is already making the shape that fits its curve. You are certain that yesterday it was in its proper place, but now there is nothing. Just air. You have lost something that was so familiar, so much a part of your life that you were not even looking for it. Just expecting it to be there, as always.” 61 likes
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