This novelette is a companion book to The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer. A peek into the soul of an angry, young girl, who will come of age in a city on the verge of total annihilation. Ruby kept a diary from the age of ten till she ran away from home at sixteen. It is from here that I picked out a few diary entries for The Ruby Iyer Diaries. This short series of vignettes from Ruby’s life, tells you more a little more about the origins of Ruby Iyer.
Read The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, to follow Ruby’s story. Coming soon The First Life of Vikram Roy (Ruby Iyer Series Book 3) and The Second Life of Ruby Iyer (& Vikram Roy) – Book 4
Source: Free kindle download
I think this book works best if you read it shortly after finishing The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer, because although I read and enjoyed that book it was a while ago now and I didn’t really enjoy this novelette. My main problem with it is that I wasn’t sure what it’s purpose was. I know it’s young Ruby’s diary, so it shows her growing up (to a certain degree), but there’s no real cohesion to the entries or any kind of overriding narrative. It’s well written, but I don’t think I gained anything by reading it – I certainly don’t feel as though I know Ruby any better.
Ruby is a very angry young girl – her father is distant, her mother ignores her, her baby brother is the favoured one, she’s being forced into a very feminine mould when in truth she’d prefer to be a sporty tomboy. Or at least that’s the view the first few entries gives. The middle ones are mostly Ruby being violent to various people for various reasons. Then the last two entries have an almost shy Ruby who is afraid of boys (though earlier a boy was her best friend) and almost afraid of herself, before turning into a spoiled brattish version of herself. Don’t worry, violence saves the day again and she triumphs.
Which just left me confused. The Ruby of the first few entries is utterly unlike the one of the last two, which would have been fine had the intervening entries explained her self-consciousness issues or even her isolation away from boys. They don’t. Instead they deal with other things, including grief, domestic violence and a brief triumph over a bully. Which is all very nice, but it left me wondering what the point of gathering these entries together was.
If you’ve never read anything to do with Ruby Iyer before, I don’t recommend starting here. The character you’ll meet isn’t particularly likeable and the entries are too disconnected to give you a real taste of this world. Start with the first book and come back to this if you’re curious to know more about Ruby. Personally I don’t think I gained any new insights into her by reading this, but others might feel differently. In truth I’m far more interested in reading the next book in the series, The First Life of Vikram Roy.
The Ruby Iyer Diaries is Out Now.
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