Read Iris & Ruby by Rosie Thomas Online


Stifling, Iris Black's Cairo house is disturbed by unexpected arrival of troubled, willful granddaughter Ruby from England. Although she hasn't seen Iris for many years, they form an unlikely bond. Ruby helps Iris document deteriorating memories of glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo. WW2 one true love, enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux, was lost to war. Iris’ early devastation shStifling, Iris Black's Cairo house is disturbed by unexpected arrival of troubled, willful granddaughter Ruby from England. Although she hasn't seen Iris for many years, they form an unlikely bond. Ruby helps Iris document deteriorating memories of glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo. WW2 one true love, enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux, was lost to war. Iris’ early devastation shaped daughter, granddaughter, and leads them into terrible danger in the Egyptian desert....

Title : Iris & Ruby
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781552785737
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Iris & Ruby Reviews

  • Bev
    2019-05-26 11:45

    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 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 pieces, 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."A beautifully woven novel that captures love and loss along with vivid descriptions of Cairo: the ancient streets, bustling bazaars, pyramids resting against a colourful palette of humid skies. These images successfully summoned all my senses creating a delicious summer read.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-16 07:35

    I enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful story about a girl and her grandmother. The girl and her grandmother form a bond and each learns from the other. Their relationship brings out the best in both of them. It shows how special the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be. Cairo is the setting for this story and its historic appeal added to the story.

  • Rosie
    2019-06-04 12:20

    Por coincidência ultimamente, tenho lido livros que revisitam o passado através do presente e francamente aborreceu-me confrontar-me novamente com esse tipo de registo. Mas tão somente por isso, penso eu. Foi o primeiro livro que li desta escritora e confesso que não fiquei completamente convencida. Gostei da visão desse país tão contrastante em paisagens e costumes. Por um lado, um Egipto em todo o seu esplendor por outro despido de sofisticação e modernidade. A sua capacidade de descrita e os seus detalhes transportam-nos, sentimo-nos lá. O tratamento invulgar pelo próprio nome em vez das palavras amorosas de "mãe" e "avó", soou-me depreciativo. Talvez tenha sido intencional, mas causou-me estranheza. Achei igualmente incongruente uma mãe que sofreu na pele a ausência física e no seu sentido mais lato da própria mãe, tenha com um dos filhos uma situação que me pareceu próxima da negligência. Ruby é a primeira filha de Lesley, fruto do seu primeiro casamento e é a sua verdadeira razão de existência. Ressalvo que o fator divórcio e o pai de Ruby ser um egocêntrico, terá, talvez, gerado um sentimento de compensação por parte desta mãe. Também a rebeldia de Ruby exigia um olhar mais atento e constante já que se embrulhava em sarilhos a todo o instante. O segundo filho, já do seu segundo casamento ao ser tão certinho e previsível tornou-se curiosamente o mal-amado. Não gostei nem compreendi.Creio que alguns fatores comportamentais desde a personagem mais nova à personagem mais velha me terão influenciado negativamente no parecer geral, daí dar apenas esta pontuação.

  • Kate
    2019-06-08 05:24

    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 ones own children/parents but ultimately the power of connection given the opportunity and a little communication.

  • Andreia Silva
    2019-05-24 07:25

    Acho que foi do meu estado de espírito que não apreciei como devia o livro mas acho que lhe faltou uma pimenta qualquer ..

  • Kirsty
    2019-06-13 10:30

    I wasn't sure what to expect with Rosie Thomas' work; I was hoping something akin to Kate Morton, but it appeared far more fluffy and drawn out than Morton's often careful, and well-built, plots. Whilst the storyline sounded okay, it was Egypt which really drew me in when deciding whether to buy this in a charity shop, and I did feel as though Thomas did a good job at building Cairo for the reader. The characters, however, are markedly flat, and their dialogue is both stilted and unnatural. I did not care at all about the characters or what Thomas held in store for them, and gave up around sixty pages in. Not for me.

  • Katherine P
    2019-06-13 08:44

    I don't even know where to begin with this book! There's so so so much that I loved and connected too and just truly felt.I didn't particularly like Iris or Ruby at the beginning. Ruby is trying so hard to be shocking that it's tiresome. She's angry and immature and is really like a child in the midst of a temper tantrum. Iris is angry too. She's angry that she can't do what she used to do, she's angry that she can't remember what she wants to remember and she's angry that scared. She's used to being on her own and isn't overly thrilled to have this child that she doesn't know come crashing into her very controlled home. But then something happens and slowly - so slowly that you don't notice at first - Iris and Ruby begin to connect and form a rapport. With that connection comes change Iris relaxes, she learns how to talk again and remembers how to laugh. The change in Ruby especially is wonderful. She finds interests outside of her self-pity and rebellion, she begins to listen. Really she begins to grow up. We also meet Lesley, Iris's daughter and Ruby's mother. Lesley's relationship with both her daughter and her mother is not what she wants them to be and she has no idea how to fix it. The harder she tries to hold on the harder they pull away. In many ways I was able to relate to all the characters in this book. There is the relationship between Iris and Ruby which is so special and so separate from Lesley, Lesley trying to navigate the waters of having a daughter who is technically an adult but still seems like such a child and also having to really look at herself and figure out what she wants for the first time. Then there's the setting. Cairo isn't just a label slapped on as window dressing. The story really takes place in Cairo. After reading this I felt like I'd been there - I driven through mazes of narrow streets and alleys, wandered around the market with awe, and toured the museum with all the wonders of Ancient Egypt. I saw glamorous parties where people danced and drank and ignored the fact the war was looming over them.The pacing was so wonderful. I was immediately pulled into the story and the characters and the city really just came alive for me. While there is a lot of heavy emotions going on and some drama I never felt like it was overwrought or that I just wanted to put the book down. These were characters that really just wanted to spend more time with and continue watching them evolve. The ending was an ending which made me happy. Books that just stop just drive me crazy. There was some open-endedness but there was also so much growth from all the characters that things felt resolved. I cannot believe this is the first book I've read by Rosie Thomas but it definitely won't be last. Full Review: http://iwishilivedinalibrary.blogspot...

  • Glenda L
    2019-05-29 09:42

    There are lots of good parts in this book. It was fun learning about Cairo in the 1940's and then learning about it today. There is lots of romance and intrigue in exotic Egypt. Iris has a mysterious past and the troubled granddaughter travels from England to Egypt to find out her story. This story changes both their lives, but draws them closer.

  • Jon Blaylock
    2019-05-28 07:22

    I enjoyed this book. I read Reader's Digest special edition, which I assume was abridged. I liked the way the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter played out. In the version I read, I did not have any trouble with the changes in voice between the narrator Iris and the otherwise 3rd person telling of the story. I recommend this book.

  • Heidi Holtan
    2019-05-31 04:39

    Absolutt ikke en dårlig bok. Anmeldelse på bloggen kommer.

  • Sheila Gumbrell
    2019-05-21 07:34

    Lovely story set in Cairo. Didn't want it to end!

  • Sue
    2019-05-23 05:33

    "I remember. And even as I say the words aloud in the silent room and hear the whisper dying away in the shadows of the house, I realize that it's not true. Because I don't, I can't remember. I am old, and I am beginning to forget things." Iris and Ruby is a novel about memories - both creating them and recalling them. Iris is an 82 year old doctor living in Cairo with two aged servants, in poor health and realizing that she is losing important memories of her younger years. She is estranged from her daughter who lives in England with her family and has few friends. Then Ruby, her 19 year old grand-daughter shows up at her door to escape her family. Ruby is adrift in her life, unsure of which direction to go and decided that maybe she would find answers in Cairo. Ruby quickly understands that her grandmother is trying to recall her past memories and decides to help her by listening to stories from her past. The novel moves seamlessly between present day Cairo and the Cairo of WWII when Iris first arrived. The author's descriptions of the city are fantastic - you can almost see the glittering parties and party dresses of the 40s along with the present day market place teaming with people and items for sale. Through Iris's stories of her past, it becomes apparent what formed her into the person she is in the present. There are romances - both in the 40s with Iris and in the present day with Ruby. There is a lot of family drama between mother and daughter - Iris with her daughter Lesley and Ruby with her mother. Through it all, Iris and Ruby create a bond that transcends time.This is a fantastic multi-generational novel and it takes place in an exciting part of the world. I loved this book and will remember these two characters long after the last page. (The novel was given to me by the author for a fair and honest review)

  • Haythem Bastawy
    2019-06-08 12:45

    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 fiction lovers, I was just slightly let down by the last 40% of the book as the first half was more impressive, and had more about it.

  • Alison
    2019-05-19 07:31

    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. My only niggle is that the desert scenes are over-long, but that's minor.An absorbing read, thoroughly recommended.

  • Laura Lynch
    2019-06-04 11:37

    "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 stories are told by both Iris and Ruby with occasional thoughts from other characters. Overall, very interesting, especially Iris who lived though the second world war in Egypt.

  • Anne
    2019-05-24 06:31

    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.

  • Инна Гецова
    2019-06-11 07:30

    "Смъртта съхранява идеала. Идеалната любов, любим, дете... Разбираш ли? Историята нямаше да е романтична, щеше да се превърне в сива реалност. Дали щеше да е Зан, Гордън, брат ти или ти, аз пак щях да съм същата. Може би и тях щях да предам и изоставя. Но изживях живота си така и съм каквато съм. Лоша, добра, с недостатъци. Безразлична. Чувствах се по-добре сама, предпочитах да бъда сама. Знаех го, докато живеех в къща в провинцията или в пристройка до болницата в Танганика, в Нясаленд, в Намибия. Знаех го където и да съм и както и да живея - че не мога да бъда друга."

  • Iris
    2019-05-18 12:30

    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 bookHowever, 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 story...Always a good read.

  • Beth
    2019-06-17 06:36

    Loved this book !

  • KarenV
    2019-05-24 07:27

    3.5 stars. A decent story, but a little boring in parts. The last 3rd of the book was better than the first 2/3rds overall but it was quite enjoyable.

  • Judy
    2019-05-30 10:39

    Loved it. The story brought back many memories of Cairo, a great read.

  • Julia Herdman
    2019-06-03 05:23

    Rosie Thomas is a new author to me although I know she has enjoyed much success with her novels mixing now with then. This story follows the lives of three generations of women from the same family, all unhappy for different reasons. As a doctor, the grandmother in the story, Iris Black, is aware she is losing herself to dementia. Memories is seems are all she has to live for. That is until her 18 year old granddaughter, Ruby, arrives unexpectedly at her house in Cairo. The pair hit it off almost immediately both finding, Lesley, Iris's daughter and Ruby's mother a challenge but each for their own separate reasons. The story is warm and affectionate despite Iris being an independent and difficult character. The Cairo of sometime now is mixed with Iris's memories of Cairo in WWII. We see Iris as a young woman full of hope, falling in love and losing the man she loves to the war. The details of the war and the life of the ex-pat community and military personnel are sketched out well but are never more than a background to the main story which is about familial relationships. The pairing of iris and Ruby, at the opposite ends of life, shows how the generations can heal one another while discovering more about themselves. On one adventure out into the desert, danger strikes, and this finally brings the long-suffering Lesley to Cairo where to her surprise she begins to find some resolutions to her issues with her mother and her daughter. I must admit I found myself skimming quite a bit of the book. There was a lot of description that added nothing very much to story and the war time tension was never really developed. Having said that I enjoyed it and recently I've read so many books that I haven't. The portrayal of the women is positive and compassionate. Relationships are improved and the end of the book is optimistic for all three generations of women. Iris and Ruby is a bit slow but it's an enjoyable read and if you don't like too much history it could be perfect for you.

  • Shonel Teke
    2019-06-17 09:35

    As we grow older, we get more fearful of the future, what it may hold and what it may not. What are you most afraid of as you age? Is it financial security, or your children’s? Is it your health or your heart? Or is it the fear of losing your most cherished memories? Iris and Ruby strikes a chord with me, in that my eternal fear has been of losing my mind, my memory and my ability to read. Iris Black is an elderly English doctor, retired and settled in the beautiful city of Egypt—a place that she spent some wonderful years of her youth. In the company of the protective Mamdooh and doting Aunty, she is lonely in her huge bungalow, lost in her memories of an ancient world where she had once lived and loved. Now, those images are fading but Iris cannot bring herself to admit it. In the midst of this quaint setting, enters her rebellious granddaughter, Ruby, breathing a burst of life into the sprawling bungalow, and Iris’ quiet life. Can these two opposite dynamics help each other out? Can Ruby be reined in? Was she a difficult child to begin with? Can Iris retain her hold on her beautiful but fading memories and can Ruby help her? There are so many winners here: the description of the streets and people of Egypt, their noisy life—interspersed with prayer and worship, the nuances of a confusing childhood and the inane need for being loved and holding onto the past. These are the themes that have been so beautifully told. There is an abundance of amazing, thought-provoking lines that may be quoted, photographed and shared again and again. The only downside may be the slightly lazy pace of the novel, which worked perfectly for me and seemed to suit the lazy Egyptian setting. Grab this book and never let it go. It’s one of those that deserve to be revisited from time to time to remind us of the life we have and the one we could be living.

  • Paula Sealey
    2019-06-02 06:25

    Teenager Ruby leaves home in the U.K. and lands at her grandmother Iris's doorstep in Cairo. Having not seen her for years, she finds Iris suffering from memory loss and offers to help preserve her memories in return for staying there.I really wanted to love this book, history, an Egyptian setting and generations of characters with stories to tell are usually just my cup of tea. Sadly, the story wasn't compelling, and most of the characters fell flat. It often wasn't clear whose story the dialogue had switched to, and there was a lot of over descriptive writing. I enjoyed Iris's story and how she met Xan, but towards the middle I just started skim reading to get the book finished as it just wasn't very exciting.

  • Plum-crazy
    2019-06-13 12:44

    Parts of this story is told in flashbacks by 82 year-old Iris. She talks about meeting the love of her life Xan Molyneux & the effect that he, & his death, had on her life. Running alongside is the story of the arrival in Cairo of Iris's rebellious grandaughter Ruby & her developing friendship with local boy Ash. A near tragedy brings Ruby's mother & Iris's estranged daughter Lesley, to Cairo where the two sets of mothers & daughters become reunited & with a greater understanding of each others lives & how they have become the person they are today. It was a wonderful, evocative story & I loved it - enough said :o) 

  • Rosemary Noble
    2019-05-27 04:41

    There was a lot to love in this book. The quality of the writing, the story itself, and the characters. The blurb describes it as richly textured and I would have to agree with that. There is a real sense of place and time for both eras described. The characters are rounded and well drawn and you believe in them. My only niggle was how easy Iris made the transition from secretary to doctor and in the 1940s.

  • Laurena Mary
    2019-06-09 05:29

    I'ver never been very good at books about foreign countries - I have always preferred the familiar English landscape. I read this because it was on the bookshelf, and actually really enjoyed it (even though it was set in Cairo!). The plot was good, the descriptions were fantastic and I really cared about the characters. I think the descriptions of a warmer climate were very welcome, especially as sleet and snow were falling outside!

  • Derek Bishop
    2019-05-19 10:31

    I really enjoyed being in Egypt & lived it as it was so descriptive . The stories of Grandmother mother & daughter excellent. Memories of Iris of the war with the man that she fell in love with was sad . A really good book & I have now ordered Rosie Thomas , Daughter of the House .

  • Sandy
    2019-06-11 10:19

    A good story with a young girl running away from family in England to her grandmother in Egypt. She finds her self and helps her grandmother with memories in Egypt of the beginning of the war in Egypt.

  • Nancy
    2019-06-06 08:40

    3.5. Nice read!