To uncover the truth about a friend's disappearance, a fragile young woman must silence the ghosts of her past in this moving debut tale that intertwines mystery, madness, betrayal, love, and literature.
My past was never more than one thought, one breath, one heartbeat away. And then, on that particular October evening, it literally arrived at my doorstep.
Twenty-two-year-old Ruby Rousseau is haunted by memories of Tarble, the women's college she fled from 10 months earlier, and the painful love affair that pushed her to the brink of tragedy.
When a suitcase belonging to a former classmate named Beth arrives on her doorstep, Ruby is plunged into a dark mystery. Beth has gone missing, and the suitcase is the only tangible evidence of her whereabouts.
Inside the bag, Ruby discovers a tattered copy of Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, the book she believes was a harbinger of her madness. Is someone trying to send her a message - and what does it mean?
The search for answers leads to Tarble. As Ruby digs into Beth's past, she has no choice but to confront her own - an odyssey that will force her to reexamine her final days at school, including the married professor who broke her heart and the ghosts of illustrious writers, dead by their own hand, who beckoned her to join their tragic circle.
But will finding the truth finally set Ruby free . . . or send her over the edge of sanity?
©2013 Amy Gail Hansen (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
The dark, melodramatic, introspective tone of this book may appeal to some readers. It wasn't for me.
Maybe in ten years.
This was my first. It was well narrated -- good range of voices and tone. More Southern than Nawlins, but I'd definitely listen to the same reader read another book.
Well written at the sentence level. Colorful imagery.
Didn't like the book. Our heroine seems more adolescent than the adult she is supposed to be. It's all about her. (Sadly, she is not that interesting.) Descriptions of New Orleans -- sleeping on a streetcar, wandering a dangerous cemetery after dark -- lack an authentic sense of place. Academics wowed by her alleged (but to this reader, not at all obvious) brilliance are far from convincing.
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