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Publisher's Summary

Forbidden love. Family secrets. A twist of fate. The stunning new generational saga from Belinda Alexandra, best-selling author of Tuscan Rose and White Gardenia.

In New Orleans - the city of genteel old houses covered in Spanish moss, of seductive nightlife, of Creole, voodoo and jazz - two women separated by time and tragedy will find each other at last.

Amanda, orphaned as a child and suffering the loss of her beloved grandmother, has left Sydney in search of a family she never knew. Ruby, constrained by the expectations of society and class, is carrying a lifetime of secrets. Amanda's arrival sparks revelations long buried: a double life, a forbidden love, and a loss that cannot be forgotten.

Southern Ruby is a sweeping story of love, passion, family and honour. Alternating in time between the 1950s and the eve of Hurricane Katrina, it is also a tribute to a city heady with music, drama, history and superstition which has borne the tumults of race and class and the fury of nature but has never given up hope.

©2014 Belinda Alexandra (P)2016 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Filled with glamour, heartbreak, drama and suspense." ( The Age)
"Intrigue, passion, betrayal - all the ingredients for a must-read novel." ( Woman's Day)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    217
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    4

Performance

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    24
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely brilliant!

I have been a huge Belinda fan ever since I discovered them in 2010. Authors Kate Morton and Belinda Alexandra are two of my all-time faves. I didn't even realize this had come out, so when I saw it in the new releases, I was thrilled. I devoured it all in almost one entire listen. It did not disappoint! Right away the story grabs you and sucks you in. I love, love, love, dramatic fiction stories about genealogy, family secrets and historical places. This novel about an Australian woman uncovering her roots in New Orleans was gorgeous both in writing and setting. And as usual, Caroline Lee was perfect. I've said it before... she is my all-time favorite narrator, and I am a devoted fan. She brings you into the story so well that at times one forgets it's even a book - it feels so realistic. I adored it, and my only complain was that it had to end. Highly recommend!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Terrible NOLA/Southern Accent

Good story. I like Caroline Lee, but her Southern/NOLA accent and pronunciation of local places...in a word- TERRIBLE, just terrible. It made the story difficult to listen to at first. Once I got involved I overlooked the accent. It probably won't bother someone who is not from the South or from USA for that matter, but to a local it was awful.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting Story - HORRIBLE accents

I enjoyed the story, but Caroline Lee's reading in this was jarring. The accents were terrible and her pronunciation of some of the words was just odd.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration was horrible!

I love Belinda Alexandra books. I have listened to all of them. And I love Caroline Lee. But her narration on this book was horrible. The southern American accent was butchered in this book. Several words were pronounced wrong. It was very distracting.

The book itself was pretty good. Interesting to hear about segregation in the 50s and what people went through during hurricane Katrina. Please try and read the book instead of listening to it. Would be much more enjoyable.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • PJ
  • 02-01-17

Love narrator.

Caroline Lee ALWAYS brings the books to life. I'm a Southern girl that and the reviews of her narration isn't fair. I can say that I buy books whenever she is the narrator. When someone is reading a book that lives in Northern US, there isn't anything that gripes my nerves trying to copy a Southern twang! So, give her a break!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • legip
  • Atlanta, Ga.
  • 03-29-18

Compelling & Compassionate but veered off...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I really liked the story. It was exciting, tense, romantic & historical, but strayed off course. Caroline Lee was expected to perform too many accents & in my opinion a male narrator should have been utilized. There were way too many characters for one. Southerners are particular about authenticity and New Orleanians have their own dialect.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Amanda
Ruby
Clifford
Mae

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

See above.

If you could rename Southern Ruby, what would you call it?

Facets of Love in a Fractured Time

Any additional comments?

Using Hurricane Katrina as the final metaphor for Ruby's life & Amanda's future, the author veered off into territory that really left me angry. Katrina was color-blind. She destroyed towns along the entire region. New Orleans just happened to be a major city of 1.38 million, with a very high population of people living below or at poverty levels. The city was run by a black Democrat mayor who was later convicted of bribery, fraud and money laundering during his time as Mayor. Congress had allocated millions of dollars to be used to shore up the levees and the money was misspent by politicians like Mayor Nagin. There was a storm surge of 10-28 feet that along with the poorly maintained levees, overwhelmed the pumps and the water poured in. About 80% of the city flooded, areas that included blacks, whites and every other race. The author mentions many times that the residents of New Orleans had been told for years that they were in danger of devastation from Gulf hurricanes. They were foolish to not evacuate. Empty school buses were never utilized, people weren't Hurricane Prepared nor did they evacuate as ordered because they were naive, stubborn or foolish. For the author to make it sound as if help didn't come because people of color were suffering was just plain ignorant and demeaning to the thousands of people who did work tirelessly to save residents. The National Guard troops had to be mobilized. No one knew exactly where Katrina would make landfall and she did hit the east coast of Florida initially, and made her way along Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi before stopping over New Orleans. Furthermore, while any loss of life is horrible, this huge natural disaster only resulted in about 1800 fatalities. New Orleans is below Sea Level, everyone who lives there should be prepared.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Horrible narration!

Story is ok. Story awkwardly broaches segregation in the south....but it seemed so gratuitous. Narrators accents are absolutely horrible!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

I know Alexander has her causes, but too much of her agenda dragged down this book. Also, she really tried to cover too much. As an American, hearing an Australian describe the Katrina ordeal with such a bias was infuriating! There was nothing simple about that horrible situation. It broke all of our hearts to witness the suffering, including our President. I will hesitate before I download another of her books! Sadly, I love Caroline Lee, but she simply cannot do a Southern accent. Listening to her try was excruciating.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

get the language right

Alleged Southern/New Orleanean accent was HORRIBLE. Maybe the narrator should have learned how to say Ponchatrain to start. Author/ editor should have been authentic with language. A Southerner would never describe a flashlight as a torch, for just one example. There are NO roundabouts in New Orleans. There were too many of these missteps to count

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Great start, slow end

I enjoyed this book, however, the last three hours were a hard to get through. The story became about hurricane Katrina, a devastating event in the Gulf Coast and an unfortunate show of racism and lack of leadership in our government. But I wanted the characters back and to move on with their stories, not this new character. Otherwise, a beautiful story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gwen
  • 10-19-16

Atmospheric with characters I would love to meet.

Atmospheric with characters I would like to meet. Sad when this marvellous story ended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Alisha
  • 03-14-17

Great story!

Great book. Loved the story between today and years ago. Loved reading (hearing) about New Orleans back in the day and what happened during Katrina.
If you can get past the TERRIBLE southern accent like I did, you'll enjoy it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Catie j
  • 11-03-16

Great story

I'm a fan of Caroline Lee, but the American accent in this audiobook is terrible. I persevered but accent annoyed the heck out of me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leonie
  • 09-06-18

Couldn’t stop listening

I absolutely loved this book. I found it thought provoking, riveting, illuminating, romantic, educational, insightful and a darned good read.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • carol
  • 10-24-17

Shame about the lead female character "Amanda" -

She is supposed to be Australian but totally ignored severe storm warnings - I spent a lot of the book wanting to give her a good shaking!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ivana Janousek
  • 08-08-17

Dispappointed

What made the experience of listening to Southern Ruby the most enjoyable?

I listen to White Gardenia and absolutely loved it, a friend lent me the CDs. I thought I try another book by Alexander and so far am disappointed because the narration grates on me. When Lee speaks in the Australian accent she sounds like a bogan. Sorry, but that's how it is for me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 06-17-17

Awesome!

finished this book in 2 days because i couldn't stop listening! Great story with many twists and turns, loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrea Harney
  • 01-28-17

What a read!!

What a great novel!! Belinda Alexandra does it again, nailing credible characters and an engaging storyline. Couldn't stop reading- listening!
Amazing twist at the end!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kay
  • 01-04-17

Great stories

Loved all the characters and unexpected twists and turns in their lives. Kept me interested throughout.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paddington
  • 11-23-16

Fabulous story

Southern Ruby is yet another fabulous novel by Belinda Alexandra. I loved it.
Her research is amazing, it was thought provoking, entertaining and fascinating. I have all her books and cant wait for the next. A truly talented writer. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marie P
  • 11-10-16

Loved this book.

I loved this book and didn't want it to end. The setting in New Orleans, great characters and the wonderful narrator all brought this book to life for me.