27 Oct 2014



SOURCE: A Reader's Group Read.

BACK COVER BLURB: Old Rosa the bag lady shuffles along the streets of New York, stinking, silent and shunned.

After she suffers a terrible accident, her nephew Michael is called upon to visit her squalid apartment and from in amongst her reeking piles of junk, he unearths something that hints at a Rosa he can barely imagine: an original pair of the ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

The slippers soon become an irresistible beacon to the misplaced hopes and darkest desires of friends, family and foe. But who will stop to learn the remarkable story behind Rosa's 'Ruby Millions'?

FIRST SENTENCE {Chapter One}: She stinks.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 185}: 'Ah well .....' he says finally, and seeing no sign of anything in the petrified face, raises his hand, gives a little wiggle of his fingers, as if saying goodbye to a child, and walks away, leaving the emptiness of her there upon the bed.

MY THOUGHTS: A book I don't particularly want to review. A book I'd much prefer to give you a copy of so that you too could discover the literary gem that is The Ruby Slippers. 

Our October 2014 Reader's Group read, of all of the many books we have read this is only the third one that I've wanted a copy of for our shelves.

With a big (and I mean that in every sense of the word) cast of seemingly random characters who each have their own part to play in this debut novel,
the story traverses between Latvia at the start of WWII to present day America. Not always a feat an author manages to pull off without losing the reader but Keir Alexander does so with much aplomb. Rosa's tale from a free-spirited young woman, dresser to Miss Judy Garland, possessor of THE ruby slippers to 'stinking bag lady' (largely revealed to us bit by bit through notes she kept) though not perhaps as prominent as it might have been the linchpin on which the whole book hinges.

Full of pathos and yet also moments of unbridled happiness. A modern parable that proves there really is no place like home, this has to be one of, if not my favourite read of the year so far.


Kelly said...

This wonderful review has me convinced. I'm off to check it out at Amazon right now.

Karen Alderman said...

Oh how interesting! Love that first line lol

Karen @ For What It's Worth

Suko said...

It sounds as if this book surpassed your expectations and then some, Tracy. I will definitely keep The Ruby Slippers in mind.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Woot! So glad to hear that this was really enjoyable for you

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Oh I haven't heard of this one. I am really going to have to check it out. So glad you enjoyed it!

Melliane said...

I didn't know about this one but now I'm curious about the world and the characters!

Brian Joseph said...

Even before I read your opinion of this one I thought that the plot of this novel sounded fantastic.

The film The Wizard of Oz means so much to us culturally, and for many emotionally. That only adds to the draw of this book.

It sounds fantastic.

Arti said...

It's so nice to read whenever a book surpasses your expectations. I need nothing more, but immediately make a mental note of it in my mind to pick it up as and when and soon as I can. A brilliant review, Tracy, thanks much as always.

Literary Feline said...

This does sound wonderful! I love it when a book takes me by surprise this way and I just want everyone else to read it. Adding this to my wish list.