• Paperback: 320 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (August 6, 2013)
The past just arrived on Ruby’s doorstep . . .
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 ten 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?
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The moment I cracked open this book I realized I was in for something VERY special. The story flies by in such a whirwind of emotions, actions, and lovingly written characters that you just cannot put it down! Ruby is such a unique character. Her mind is bright and her heart is open, it's hard not to become fast "friends" with her. I have a hard time finding any sympathy for a person who cheats on their spouse (or the person they cheat with) so it was astonishing to me that I felt such a fast affinity for Ruby. Here she is a young girl, wide eyed and innocent and taken advantage of. Hansen doesn't sugar coat the relationship, you almost know he's a scumbag from the start. She doesn't drop BIG smoking hints but you know there's not a chance in heck the relationship is going to end well, but yet you still feel so badly for Ruby when it does end.
As I stated, the story was perfectly done. The mystery aspect was subtle and smoothly planned out. I did NOT guess at all what was going on. I felt like I knew who had done what, yet when the answers were shown I was blown away. Seriously, well done Ms. Hansen! You got me good! This was one of the best books I've read in a while!