Friday November 19, 2010
Note: The following is a guest review by my principal here at HMS, Elaine C. Thanks Elaine!
The Ruby Notebook
by Laura Resau
Goodreads Summary: Sixteen-year-old Zeeta and her flighty English-teaching mom, Layla, have traveled the world together, settling in a different country every year, making a whole new set of friends and adopting new customs. This year, they’ve chosen to live in Aix-en-Provence, France, an enchanting city full of fountains, creamy yellow light, and a fascinating group of scarlet-clad street performers.
Zeeta soon begins to receive mysterious notes and gifts from someone she calls her fantôme, or ghost, admirer. But she is expecting her boyfriend, Wendell—the love of her life, as her friends call him—to arrive in Aix for a summer program very soon. Zeeta brushes off her curiosity about her fantôme, and her simmering attraction to one of the street performers, Jean-Claude, until Wendell arrives and she begins to fear that her feelings for him have truly changed. Perhaps—like Layla—she’s simply not made for long-term romance.
As Zeeta tries to draw away from Wendell, however, circumstances seem to force them together. Zeeta’s friendship with a local antiques dealer and his reclusive artist friend leads to a dangerous adventure. When Zeeta and Wendell join forces to find a secret underground spring whose water is rumored to bring immortality, they are forced to reconsider their own desires, and their beliefs about true love. Yet as soon as Zeeta decides that her mind has cleared, she’s confronted with the biggest shock of her life: the incredible true identity of her fantôme.
Vibrant, warmhearted, and evocative, The Ruby Notebook is a remarkable novel about learning to accept love in all of its wondrous and imperfect forms.
Review: In this follow up to The Indigo Notebook we again take an intriguing look at the free-spirited lifestyle of an artist mother which she has also imposed on her 16 year old daughter Zeeta. Their latest adventure is a move to Aix en Provence, France (another addition to the 16 countries they have lived in.) Zeeta is trying to live somewhat normal life and keep Wendell, the boyfriend from Ecuador who had been adopted by US parents, as her true love for more than a year. Zeeta struggles with making a life, new friends, and new school requirements as she and her mother live in a new country each year.
When Wendell finally arrives, Zeeta has already started her new friends among the gypsies, including Jean-Claude, a handsome singer and player for street performers. Her feelings for Jean-Claude and the disconnect between her and Wendell begin the conflict of her old life versus her new one. Even more mysterious is Wendell's ability to have visions of the future, including Zeeta in a new red dress and water. As Wendell joins Zeeta's search for the Fountain of Youth and her fantome's identity, Wendell and Zeeta search for the truth and for the love of each other.
An enjoyable read with beautiful detailed settings interwoven with a little bit of mystery and a touch of magic!