Mourning Ruby by Helen Dunmore - review by Madeleine Minson

Madeleine Minson

A Shoebox!

Mourning Ruby


Viking 310pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

Rebecca, the central character in Helen Dunmore's eighth novel for adults, was found as a baby in a box that once held a pair of men's size-eleven shoes. Since she knows nothing about her parents, this story becomes the cornerstone of her identity, and the shoebox itself a talisman that she carries with her through life. But when her five-year-old daughter Ruby dies in an accident - an event that shatters the fragile edifice of her life with her husband Adam - she begins to realise that there are alternative stories out there, concerning not just other people's hves but also her own.

After a haunting portrayal of rock-bottom grief, Dunmore leads Rebecca into the glittering world of Mr Damiano - a hotel entrepreneur and former circus artiste, who offers her a job 'zigzagging on aeroplanes from continent to continent' - and ultimately into a new, wartime version of the story of her

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