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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea - Morgan Callan Rogers



Released January 2012

Morgan Callan Rogers
Viking

Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth

I don't think it took long before I realized I had another book to add to my keeper shelf. I try to limit the number of books I keep because of the size of our house, but Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea is an amazing story. It's part-mystery and a solid coming of age story set in a quaint ocean town in Maine.

Florine Gilham starts her 12th summer off by getting into a little trouble. She and her friends decide to head to the summer homes and set off firecrackers, but one of them sets a porch on fire. That leads to Florine's mother reducing her hours and keeping her daughter under close watch. Soon the town's moved on and forgotten about the kids' prank, school resumes and Florine is back to her routine of making bread with her grandmother, watching for her father's lobster boat to return and spending time with her three buddies.

It's not long before Florine's mother disappears during a weekend trip. Days, weeks, months and eventually years pass without police finding a trace of the missing woman. Forced to grow up without a mother she desperately misses, Florine tries to navigate the world feeling a sense of loss that no one seems to understand.

There's very little I disliked about Morgan Callan Rogers' debut novel. Developing her characters seems to be the author's strong point because I felt for each and every one of them, especially Florine. The setting is breathtaking, and it's obvious the author is from the area I've visited for a week every year since I can remember. I adore coastal Maine and she captured the magic perfectly, even though I am one of the interlopers that come only in the spring or summer months. If you want a glimpse into Maine and can't afford the trip, the author does a great job at capturing the lifestyle of the lobstermen, the magic of the ocean and the quiet, peaceful setting.

I do advise having Kleenex handy. Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea made me laugh, definitely brought tears to my eyes and left me wanting more.

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