In the heart of the bayou, Ruby Landry lives a simple, happy life. But innocence can’t last forever…
The only family Ruby Landry has ever known are her loving guardian, Grandmère Catherine, a Cajun spiritual healer, and her drunken, outcast Grandpère Jack. Although thinking about her dead mother and mysterious father sometimes makes her feel as mournful as the wind sighing through the Spanish moss, Ruby is grateful for all she has. Her life is filled with hope and promise…especially when her attraction for handsome Paul Tate blossoms into a mysterious, wonderful love. But Paul’s wealthy parents forbid him to associate with a poor Landry, and Grandmère urges her to follow her dream of becoming a great painter, foreseeing a time when Ruby will be surrounded with riches in the dazzling city of New Orleans! Yet she cannot know how close that uncertain future looms….
In a faded photograph, Ruby glimpses for the first time the image of her father — and learns of a shameful deception and a shocking scheme of blackmail that now must come to light. Stunned by these revelations, she is devastated when Grandmère dies, leaving her to seek out her father in his vast New Orleans mansion. There, in a house of lies, madness, and cruel torment, Ruby clings to her memories of Paul to keep her heart alive. For only their love can save her now….
Oh, the melodrama!
I don’t know why, but I decided to revisit some books I haven’t gone near for a few decades. I couldn’t quite bring myself to pick up the infamous (and incestuous) Flowers in the Attic again, so I went for a book written by the ghost writer who took over the V C Andrews franchise after Virginia Andrews’ death.
These are big, old-school family sagas, about rich families in the US South.
Written a few decades ago, and set a few decades before that, my first big shock when I began my reread was how young these characters are! The PARENTS of these characters are my age, and in Ruby our narrator (yes, this is in the first person – I’d forgotten that, too) is fifteen.
I honestly thought she’d be in her twenties.
There are clichés galore, which is – I’m sure – why these books hold so much appeal to teenagers. The evil characters are really evil. All the female characters are either downtrodden Cinderellas or nasty, jealous, scheming bitches.
Anything sex-related is of the she resisted, but really wanted it variety, which is a relic of the past in fiction written these days.
The ghost writer is a man, and I can tell that by the way some of the female characters are written. Mind you, there are some female New Adult authors these days who manage just as much casual misogyny.
For all of the clichés, I raced through this book. It’s like watching a soap opera. What a pity the author reached his word limit and rushed through the most exciting parts at the end.
However, I’m not sure how many more vindictive monster characters I can take (and I’m pretty certain the heroine ends up marrying her half-brother at some point). Not sure I’ll be rereading this series through to the end.