Ruby Among Us - eBook    -     By: Tina Ann Forkner
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Ruby Among Us - eBook

Waterbrook Press / 2009 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: 2009
ISBN: 9780307499059
ISBN-13: 9780307499059


In her novel Ruby Among Us, Tina Ann Forkner tells of a young girl traumatized by the death of her mother. As a coping mechanism, Lucy surrounds herself with books, music, and art, while living under the extremely strict and watchful eye of her grandmother. As Lucy gets older, she realizes there are more secrets in her tight knit family than others would like her to discover. She begins a journey of self-discovery and a quest for family history. The biblical theme of “You have sinned against the LORD, and be sure your sin will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23) plays a significant role in this book as the lives of three generations of women are examined.

Unfortunately, the book jumps to the past and then to the present too often, sometimes without any forewarning or natural transitions. I found myself more than once becoming confused because I thought we were in the present when the author had already moved the story to the grandmother’s past. We find in this story that the grandmother has done something particularly terrible, and it prevents her from going back to her hometown.

Part of the reason we’re jumping back and forth is that we’re getting insight into what the grandmother did that was so terrible that it drove her away from her parents and husband for the rest of her life. I felt frustrated with this book because it tried to meld and incorporate too many plots, subplots, and character histories at once. Not only are we trying to figure out what the grandmother has done, we’re also trying to stay current on a developing love interest for Lucy, while we’re also following yet another story about how a friend of Lucy’s has adopted a child from an underage mother. It is like trying to squeeze an entire series into one novel. It makes your head spin. Nevertheless, Lucy is an admirable character who tries to live well, be forgiving, and love honestly. To that end the book has merit and may provide reading enjoyment for a select audience. -- Bethany Trosper,


“Ruby Among Us is a powerful story that will linger long after reading it. Forkner’s writing transported me to California’s vineyards and wove a fascinating saga of how secrets and decisions impact the lives of following generations—and how love can redeem.” — Cindy Woodsmall, New York Times best-selling author of When the Morning Comes

“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

“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, an author to watch.” — Colleen Coble, author of Anathema

“A subtle, intimate story of grace and redemption that touches the heart!” —Pamela Nowak, author of the historical romance Chances

“Forkner writes from a place of intimate transparency, allowing the reader to discover priceless treasures found in the pursuit of truth. Ruby’s story unfolds in fascinating layers, revealing at its core the universal power of a mother-daughter relationship.”— Bonnie Keen, speaker, vocalist, and author of A Ladder Out of Depression

“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, 2007 winner of American Idol

“If you’re a fan of fiction that inflames your heart and your spirit, Tina Ann Forkner has a debut novel you should read. Ruby Among Us is filled with powerful emotions of secrets, joy, grief, the freedom that is found in the truth, and, ultimately, in redeeming love.” — Kim Hill, worship leader and recording artist

“What an incredible story. As both mothers and daughters, Ruby Among Us struck a special cord in each of the four of us. Tina writes in a way that makes us feel like we’re there; from the first line, we were captivated and drawn into an intricate weaving of the precious and fragile relationships that define us.” — Point of Grace

“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 and wife of Michael W. Smith, and mother of their five children

“From the first page of this emotionally-gripping novel, I was absorbed in Lucy’s story. The author weaves a beautiful tapestry of meaning and grace, with an underlying truth: every heart needs a place to call ‘home.’ Lucy’s journey toward her place of belonging is poignantly told.”— Kim Vogel Sawyer, author of Blessings and My Heart Remembers

“Ruby Among Us is an intriguing story of lost love, brokenness, and ultimately, restored relationships. It is one girl's search to unlock the secrets of her family's past that ultimately leads to redemption, hope, and new life. This great read will truly touch your heart!”— Denise Jackson, best-selling author of It's All About Him

Publisher's 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. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

4.9 Stars Out Of 5
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Meets Expectations:
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of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Displaying items 1-5 of 17
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  1. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 20, 2009
    R. Thomasson
    This review was written for Ruby Among Us, La Rosaleda Series #1.
    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. Lucy is an introverted sort who seems to hold in her emotions and her questions about her mother's past. She starts to come out of her shell when she begins college and meets new friends. Lucy blames herself for her mother's death years ago because she could not find the inhalor for her mother's asthma quick enough. Lucy wants desperately to learn about her past with her mother, but Kitty is reluctant to reveal family secrets which affect them all. This is a story of long-suffering, hidden secrets and finally forgiveness. I have "Ruby Among Us" in my high school library, I recommend it often because these days, many students need love and forgiveness in their own lives.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 16, 2009
    Megan DiMaria
    This review was written for Ruby Among Us, La Rosaleda Series #1.
    Tina Forkners debut novel Ruby Among Us is beautifully written and transports you to the lush, rich Sonoma Valley. Rubys daughter, Lucy, struggles to put the pieces together to discover the story of her deceased mother. Her efforts bring into focus not only Rubys story but that of Kitty, the grandmother who raised her, and the story of Lucy herself. Ruby Among Us is a tale of generational love and finding redemption from the past by dealing with the present. I loved the story of Ruby, Kitty, and Lucy and fell in love with the beautiful language and moving prose penned by Forkner.
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    February 13, 2009
    Tara Robertson
    This review was written for Ruby Among Us, La Rosaleda Series #1.
    Ruby Among Us is an inspiring novel about faith and forgiveness and the relationships between mothers and daughters. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed getting to know them as I read the story. The storyline drew me in and kept me interested the whole way through. I look forward to reading the next book in this series!
  4. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    November 10, 2008
    Carol Hazen
    This review was written for Ruby Among Us, La Rosaleda Series #1.
    A great book for anyone who has had an abortion who is unwilling to forgive themselves.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    October 30, 2008
    This review was written for Ruby Among Us, La Rosaleda Series #1.
    "Ruby Among Us" is an outstanding novel from debut author Tina Ann Forkner. The story of 3 generations of women and the men they love is woven among the lush scenery of the places they cherish. Long-held family secrets unravel in a unique writing style that brings the characters to life and is at the same time both honest and sensitive about topics rarely brought out in Christian fiction. This is a fast-paced read that at times leaves you breathless to learn both the history and the future of characters you come to love.
Displaying items 1-5 of 17
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