Book reviews


Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea is a coming of age story set in the early 1960s by Morgan Callan Rogers.

The story is narrated by a teenage girl, Florine, whose mother Carlie disappeared on a weekend away. Florine and her father, a lobster-fisherman, struggle to deal with the aftermath of Carlie’s disappearance, although Florine’s grandmother, friends and community are a comfort to her as time passes with no sign of Carlie.

Florine’s friendship group includes Dottie, who loves to eat and bowl, Bud, who Florine intends to marry one day and Glen, whose father comments, “He’s a little thick in the head, sometimes,” after the foursome almost burn down one of the summer family’s fishing cottages the year they are 12.

When Florine’s father hooks up with an old girlfriend who Florine detests, she moves over the road to stay with her grandmother, Grand. Grand is a generous, loving character who keeps Florine on the straight and narrow. She teaches Florine to bake bread, knit, and make traditional Maine Christmas wreaths, all of which are vital to their family finances.

As they grow up, Bud finds himself a girlfriend, leaving Florine behind. Florine deals with the change to their relationship gracefully, although she remains certain that one day she and Bud will be together forever.

Florine’s voice and the voice of the other characters from their fishing village in Maine are gorgeous. Carlie haunts the book and Florine’s love for her mother is as solid and real as anything else in this book. Florine’s strength of character and attitude are amusing and inspirational.

I believe this author has written a sequel to Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea which I am looking forward to reading, as I can’t wait to find out what happens to this group of characters as adults.




Comments on: "Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers" (5)

  1. Oh, every child should be allowed to burn down at least one building when they’re twelve! Adults are so boring… 😉 I wonder if the books will ever reveal what happened to Carlie – I’m intrigued.

  2. I hope the next book solves the mystery of what happened to Carlie, I think she loved her family too much to have left them of her own accord. The author was clever to have left this unsolved, not just so there could be a sequel but because in real life there are some things which we never know. Most books present the reader with a mystery then show us how it resolves, so this was unexpected without the lack of resolution being irritating.
    12-year olds and matches… there wouldn’t be a school left on earth!

  3. For some reason I love the title of this one. No idea why but it meant that the book was off to a good start before I even started reading your review. Sounds like a good one – intriguing 🙂

  4. Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea begs to be spoken aloud, doesn’t it? Now I’m going off to find Green Eegs and Ham which gives me the same sort of pleasure when read aloud 😀

  5. That’s what it is! The rhythm, the cadence… Love it 🙂

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