Book Review · FIction · Women's Fiction

The Ruby of the Sea

For this book I partnered with Suzy Approved Tours and Peggy Lampman. Thank you Suzy for the invitation to join this tour and thank you Peggy Lampman for the gifted copy of The Ruby of the Sea. All opinions in this review are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Linnea Chandler. For the last 15 years she has been aimlessly traveling the country, trying to find happiness, while running from her fear of the sea. Linnea returns to her hometown of Key West, Florida and although this is home, this is where the heart of her phobia of the sea lives. While she has kept this secret for years, she comes to find out that maybe keeping it a secret was not the best idea. After all, kept secrets sometimes come back to bite you when you least expect them to and can put wedges between loved ones.

Back home, Linnea reunites with her sisters, her parents, and the 19th century lighthouse that her family has called home since she was little. The lighthouse carries a troubled past and a frightening myth…a myth that if Linnea is honest with herself, eerily mirrors the mystery that is her younger sister.

The three sisters must decide to what extremes they are willing to protect the secrets that they carry. Can they ignore the lighthouse’s history and the fatal shipwreck in 1857 that caused so much pain? Can they defy a hurricane that is threatening to pummel their town? And when their world is upended, do the women have the strength to move forward?

Review

While this book was slow to start for me, once I got into the book I really enjoyed the story. While I thought that this was just going to be another story about three sisters coming together to clear the air of all that they have been through and are going through, I am glad to say that I was wrong. Peggy Lampman’s writing was full of wonderful and not so wonderful surprises! While I am not a huge fan of books that have multiple narrators, Peggy Lampman did a wonderful job of keeping each of the sister’s stories separate, while at the same time weaving them all together. While I was not sure I was going to like this book with how slow it started for me, I am glad that I stuck it out or I would have not learned of the sister’s tales and all that it takes to keep a family together during hard times.

Of note, Peggy Lampman writes of mental health troubles in this book. Since I am a social worker and work with people with mental health troubles, I am always interested in how people portray them. Will they give the issue the attention that it deserves while not overwhelming the reader? Without giving the story away, I think that Peggy Lampman did a great job of describing what one goes through with a mental illness. She did a great job of showing the severity of what those affected go through, while at the same time telling a beautiful story of the person affected and how the family is affected as well. I can only hope that other authors would take the same care with the subject of mental illness as Peggy Lampman did.

Rating

About the Author

Peggy Lampman’s passion is writing women’s fiction, which provokes the mind and touches the heart. She uses contemporary themes as a means to break down relationship, familial and cultural barriers. Her novels, THE PROMISE KITCHEN, THE WELCOME HOME DINER and THE RUBY OF THE SEA, reflect this fascination. Of particular pleasure to her is developing flawed characters-living in and reconciling with-the shadows cast by their equally flawed parents.

She grew up in Alabama and planted roots in her college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan where she owned a specialty food store and wrote a food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive

After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public relations firm. After moving back to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, Peggy sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com. She is currently writing her fourth book.

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