Jul 5, 2016

First Chapter: Iris and Ruby by Rosie Thomas

The winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award (2007), Iris and Ruby, is about a grandmother-granddaughter relationship, with flashbacks to the grandmother's early history in Egypt. The novel was reprinted April 2016. I started it several weeks ago but then got sidetracked by new arrivals! It's one I'm looking forward to reading in its entirety.

Iris and Ruby: A Novel by Rosie Thomas, published April 5, 2016 by The Overlook Press
Setting: Cairo
Genre: romance, part historical fiction

First chapter, first paragraph:

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 am beginning to forget things.
Sometimes I'm aware that great tracts of memory have gone, slipping and melting away out of my reach. When I try to recall a particular day, or an entire year, even a damned decade, if I'm lucky there are the bare facts unadorned with color. More often than otherwise there's nothing at all. A blank. 

Book description: 
Iris Black's Cairo house is disturbed by the unexpected arrival of willful granddaughter Ruby from England. Ruby helps Iris document deteriorating memories of glittering, cosmopolitan Cairo and her WWII one true love, enigmatic Captain Xan Molyneux, who was lost to war. Iris’ early devastation shaped her daughter, granddaughter, and leads them into terrible danger in the Egyptian desert.

Teaser from Chapter 5:

"Ruby, do you remember we talked about you helping me to collect some of my old memories?"

Memes: Every Tuesday Bibliophile By the Sea hosts First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros where readers share the first paragraph sometimes two, of a book that they are reading or plan to read soon. 

Do the book description and first paragraph of the first chapter above appeal to you? Would you read on?

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB at Books and a Beat, where you can find the official rules for this weekly event.


  1. The opening makes me want to read a little more -- I'm curious about what she can remember and what she's forgotten.

  2. I'd keep reading! For some reason this reminds me a little of an Agatha Christie novel.

  3. I am always fascinated by memory issues, whether they are from trauma...or getting older. I like the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “MUST LOVE DOGS: NEW LEASH ON LIFE”

  4. This sounds interesting. I would keep reading. I like the setting and the grandmother/granddaughter relationship.

  5. I love stories like this, the past meets the present. I would like to read this one. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

  6. One of my reviewers read this book and enjoyed it. Girl Who Reads

  7. This is a promising opening!

  8. I love the opening paragraph. I identify with the narrator. I'd like to read this one.

  9. This definitely sounds like it could be a good one! Thanks for sharing!


I love getting comments and your thoughts...

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson and TBR Thrillers: Sunday Salon

  I am familiar with Jamaican black cake, a traditional fruit cake with fruits soaked in rum and wine. I went to many weddings and celebrati...