Friday, March 14, 2014

Ruby's Secret

Ruby's Secret (The Newport Ladies Book Club)Whitney Finalist, General

I've read several other books in the Newport ladies book club, and the concept is always entertaining: the series alternates between the point of view of the different women in the book club. Each book overlaps the others in terms of time, and it's been fun to get peeks at what goes on behind the scenes of each woman's life. The book club scenes are similar in each book, though of course you get a new perspective based on what the point of view character notices.

This one features Ruby, the older woman who organized the book club in the first place. At 62, Ruby is a widow, but she's put that behind her and she's determined to enjoy life. In addition to arranging the book club, she also joins a senior center and is talked into taking a trip with the group to Greece.

There she meets the charming tour guide, Gabriel, whose sister Maria is a friend of Ruby's back in California. Initially, Ruby's enjoyment of the tour is dampened by her previous experience in Greece: her husband spent most of their shared vacation at meetings, and it was after that trip that she first found out that he was unfaithful to her. Ruby is still deeply conflicted by what she sees as a failed marriage (though she stayed with him to his death) and this creates trouble as Gabriel begins to show interest and seek her out. Ruby isn't sure she wants another romantic relationship--and she isn't sure she deserves one.

I liked that the perspective of this romance was that of an older woman--I don't think we see that often. And I liked how caring and concerned Ruby was for the women around her. I did get frustrated at times with Ruby, because I felt she was punishing herself too much, but that did seem in keeping for her character.

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