Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea” as Want to Read:
Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

(Florine #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,552 ratings  ·  279 reviews
A captivating debut, introducing a spirited young heroine coming of age in coastal Maine during the early 1960s.

When her mother disappears during a weekend trip, Florine Gilham's idyllic childhood is turned upside down. Until then she'd been blissfully insulated by the rhythms of family life in small town Maine; watching from the granite cliffs above the sea for her
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Viking (first published August 12th 2010)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,552 ratings  ·  279 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I loved a novel as much as this one. I loved it most for being true to life. It's not all literary, things don't happen in the way most "coming of age" style novels have you believe they should, but Florine and her family and friends talk in an authentic Maine voice. The dialogue is perfect. If anyone wants an idea what conversations and characters were like growing up in Maine, they could read this book and get a very good idea. I love it that Florine found her own ...more
Jan 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this one. It has a lot going for it. It's about a teenage girl struggling with tough circumstances in an everyody-knows-everybody small town, and what I like best about the story is how the main character manages to get so lost in such a tiny place. It's extremely readable, and the characters are vivid and convincing.

On the other hand, [umm, spoiler alert, I guess? Can it be a spoiler when I'm warning you that something doesn't happen, even though you may have been
EDIT 27.04.14: There is going to be a sequel, coming out in August - I'm a happy camper! :)
Dale Harcombe
Apr 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I debated between 2 and 3 stars for this book.Probably 2 and a half.
The premise of this book is interesting in that Florine, who is very close to her mother Carlie, finds it difficult to cope after she disappears from Florines life, leaving no trace of what happened. Florine and her father dont know if she is dead or just gone off somewhere. Florines grief is an intrinsic presence in the novel.
The sense of place is beautifully evoked. Some of the writing and the imagery in this novel is
May 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I just realized I never wrote a review after finishing this book, which is a shame, because I really enjoyed it. Great setting and characters. Enough mystery to keep you going, but mostly the story is the coming-of-age of young Florine, the every girl is 1960s Maine. Great story!
Feb 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
The story is set in the 60's.Florine is growing up in a little village at the coast of Maine. Her dad is a fisherman, her mom a waitress and she lives a happy life with her friends Dotty, Bud, Glen and of course her grandmother to whom she is very close. At age 11 her mom doesn't come back from a vacation trip with her best friend. Nobody knows what happens, did she run away, was it a crime? Florines world is shattered but life goes on...

This is a coming to age story which starts at the age 11
May 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you are looking for a perfect summer read pick up a copy of Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers, and be transported to the coast of Maine. Set in 1963, when our heroine Florine Gilham is a carefree, if somewhat devilish, twelve year old enjoying her summer with her fisherman father and beautiful young mother, her local friends she has know all her life, and her devoted Grandmother. Florines life however, is about to change in unexpected ways when her mother Carlie ...more
Robyn Yeary
Feb 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
I could not put this book down, really enjoyed it. A coming of age story of a young women in the 1960's - she survives some hard losses - with a strong spirit. I look forward to reading more by this author - this is her first novel.
Sandy W
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Completely enjoyed this book, cannot wait---sequel coming in February '16. However, don't read the blurb about the second book---spoiler alert! I did that and gave away the ending on the first book! Still loved the story!
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: beach, fiction, favorites
Goodreads only gives options for 5 stars,I am giving this 10 stars~ I bought this book at a used book sale for 50 cents.It is a signed hardcover.I have passed this one over so many times (regrettably)in the last 3 years.I am beginning to learn that the books I pass over are the best. This book is a coming of age story at the Maine shore in 1963. Borrowing a quote from one of the reviewers is is "powerfully evocative". This is a memorable story,one that will be living with me for a while. It is ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, is a coming of age, debut novel which takes place in a small sea-side town in Maine, in the 1960s. It's a place where most of the year round residents know each other.

Growing up for most young girls is hard enough, but for Florine Gilham, the story's young protagonist, it is even more painful. The summer she was 12, her mother, Carlie, who worked as a waitress, disappeared during her annual trip with a friend to Crow's Nest Harbor. The lives of Florine, her
Gia Charles
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's taken me a few days to write this review, because I'm trying to separate my own personal story and how closely I can relate to it from the actual quality of the writing.

I can honestly say, I could not stop reading this book. It's a coming-of-age novel from the perspective of a young girl named Florine who grew up on the coast of Maine (presumably around the Bath/Midcoast area). She mentions traveling up Route 1 through Wiscasset and Camden and Rockland and the author herself grew up in
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-fiction
This took a little close reading for the first chapter or so because of the wide cast, but once I was there, I was there and happy! Roger hands over the Maine coastline and the gritty rather than romantic reality of growing up in such a space. Rogers managed to make me root for but not always like the main character, Florine, and empathize with many of the more minor characters. If you like Coming-of-Age without the fluff and make-believe, daughter/father/step-mother dynamics, and strong ...more
Diane S ☔
Feb 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Florine is 12 when her mother disappears during an annual trip she always too with a friend. Dad can't cope, starts drinking way too much and Florine goes to live down the street with her gran. Loved the character of the grandmother, she reminded me so much of the grandmother I used to have, always ready with a quick hug, or food or a special little treat. This is a wonderful coming of age novel and Florine is a wonderful character. Sh grows up always with the spectral image of her mother in the ...more
Lynn Pribus
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
While this had some pretty good reviews, I was listening to it and the juvenile voice of the female narrator -- probably not really a child, but trying to sound like one -- and the early going was too juvenile for me. I guess I'm pretty weary of coming-of-age novels.

OTOH, I had no trouble with the young girl in LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, so maybe it's the author's delivery.

Back to the Panama Canal. (Also reading Path Between the Seas.)
Nov 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
I checked this book out from the library while doing book club research and really enjoyed it. An intriguing story with well-thought out characters and the harsh but beautiful setting of the Maine coast. I loved the familial relationships between the main character and her dad and grandma. The latter part of the story when she gets involved with a rich, entitled summer resident gets a little annoying but it's all part of her journey and she does grow from it. A satisfying read all around.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: author coming to Vermont Booktopia 2016
"Read" this in two sittings. A coming of age story, I figured that out all by myself! A light read about teenaged Florine whose mother goes on a trip and never returns. Her father and she are soon at odds, so she moves in with her grandmother. Probably not a book I would have chosen for myself, but it kept me entertained.
The first of a series.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Solid coming-of-age novel: teen girl in 1960s rural Maine. Very well written. Solid, interesting characters. Excellent "voice" of characters and location. Believable ending (not all tied up in a nice red bow). 9 out of 10 stars (I'm very picky about giving 10/10). Better than mere "chick lit."
Apr 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the sequel to this book first not knowing it was a sequel. I then had to read Red Ruby Heart. Beautiful story of coming age through some very sad and rough circumstances. Loved seeing how Florine started out knowing how she ended up in her adult years. I could also see the growth in the author's writing and development of her characters.
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
young girl growing up in hard times
Lynette Elliott
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Regardless of all the criticisms that are posted for this book (some of which I can understand but do not necessarily agree with), it is beautifully written and worth reading for the sole purpose of seeing and hearing good prose. This one's a keeper in my library.
Caroline Thomas
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5 Stars
Jaime Boler
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mobile-press
I am reviewing the new novel Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers for the Mobile Press-Register. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea is a heartfelt debut. Rogers gives us a coming-of-age tale set in 1960s Maine. Florine Gilham is an unforgettable character, and I laughed with her and cried with her. So will you. Florine reminded me so much of Fannie Flaggs Daisy Fay Harper, the main character in her novel, Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man (also known as Coming Attractions). I ...more
Darlene Karalash
This was an absolutely charming coming-of-age story with a feisty young adolescent main character,(referred to as some woman more than once in the book), endeared to her family, friends and community for her quick wit, fierce loyalty, tantrums, warts and all. A wonderful treatise in remaining resilient and true to self while coping with loss. Kudos to the author for not tying up the loose endslife can be very messy while still delivering many a blessing. I recommend this book to fans of Rabbit ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
I initially read this as it has one of my favourite colours in the title but then I discovered it was about grief as well so will use it for that prompt. Didn't realise there was a sequel so think I'll read it to find out what happens next. Was an easy read.
Patrice M.
May 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book... of this young girl's coming of age in the 1960's. The story is a bit deprssing at times, as she faces deaths, crisis and accidents. I love a good resolution, but not a huge fan of the last page wrap up... but even so I give 8.5 /10
Janeen Rawson
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the story and the writing. Was a little bothered by the one loose end at the end of the story.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Unique story, but the main character drove me crazy.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Enjoyed this book, but found myself crying too often.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Christmas at the Lakeside Resort (Lakeside Resort #1)
  • When A Heart Cries (Mountain Lakes #3)
  • A Foreigner in New York
  • Dunkelgrün fast schwarz
  • Snow Melts in Spring
  • Un cuento perfecto
  • Echando raíces
  • El arte de la guerra
  • Until Thy Wrath be Past (Rebecka Martinsson, #4)
  • Das Tal der Orangen
  • Desde la sombra
  • Salt Slow
  • Don't Ever Tell
  • It Would Be Night in Caracas
  • Cape May
  • Sex & Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time
  • Marta nella corrente
  • Three Weeks To Say Goodbye
See similar books…
For marketing purposes, one of my publicists asked me to think about why I stand out. That's a hard question to answer during fractured times filled with bombastic narcissists shouting LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! It's almost better to NOT stand out. So maybe the question is, what is anti-special about me? You're only cool when you don't worry about being cool. It's a Catch-22.

I've had my moments. I

Other books in the series

Florine (2 books)
  • Written on My Heart

News & Interviews

Mary Pauline Lowry knows a thing or two about being stuck at home when you don't want to be. After all, the premise of her newest novel, The Rox...
9 likes · 0 comments
“I might lose what mind I do have, and I don't have much to begin with.” 0 likes
“Here, sorrow was allowed to perch and settle inside of me, instead of digging its claws into my heart and flapping its wings, trying to rip it out.” 0 likes
More quotes…