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Mourning Ruby

Damiano has realised that what people most desire is "to be given pleasure", and he creates a magical travelling fairground called Damiano's Dreamworld, in which customers have their desires for pleasure fulfilled. Damiano promises Rebecca her own Dreamworld, but on a business trip to New York, she has to endure an emergency landing when the plane's engine fails, and on the tarmac she thinks she sees Ruby in a child-sized fireman's helmet, a portent of death and a sign that the Dreamworld has not assuaged her grief.

Perhaps Dunmore means that escapism is an inadequate form of mourning, although the relationship of this baroque episode to the rest of the novel is not at all clear. Rebecca leaves her job and moves to Cornwall, near Ruby's grave, to work as a waitress, and to brood on her own family origins. With the motive of helping Rebecca rewrite her own story, her ex-lover Joe, a scholar of Russian history, abandons his research on Stalin's wife Nadezhda Alliluyeva, and begins instead to write a novel about his father, an RAF pilot killed in the first world war, and his imagined romance with a prostitute who may have been Rebecca's grandmother.

Part II of Mourning Ruby is composed of chapters from this unfinished novel, and Joe's letters to Rebecca explaining it.

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Somehow reading the story, and confronting its lyric images of flight, helps Rebecca become reconciled to Ruby's death. As this summary may suggest, Mourning Ruby is a very literary novel, as much about the power of narrative, writing, reading, and imagination as it is about loss and recovery.

It is packed with literary allusions. The official cause of his death in a camp is an unspecified illness. As the author herself says about Russia: "I didn't choose Russia but Russia chose me.

Mourning Ruby, Helen Dunmore

I had been fascinated from an early age by the culture, the language, the literature and the history to the place. And about her novel: " Mourning Ruby is not a flat landscape: it is more like a box with pictures painted on every face. And each face is also a door which opens, I hope, to take the reader deep into the book. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Mourning Ruby First edition. Categories : British novels Novels by Helen Dunmore. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history.

SINGING FOR THE LAST TIME FOR RUBY & SAYING nesfolkdangvest.tkng the loss of our dear Ruby.

Languages Add links. Only fools bought instant mashed potato, which had no food value compared to the tinned variety. She taught me that potatoes were waxen and slippery and came ready-peeled, carrots grew in cubes and corned beef had to be warmed under the hot tap to loosen its coat of fat so that it would glop out of the tin.

At Christmas we had a Plumrose Ham from a bigger tin. The strip of metal that wound onto the key-opener was so long that it sometimes broke under the tension, slashing a thumb. Day by day, Joe undid my good housekeeping. I got soil on my fingers, and I sliced up meat which bled.

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I learned to check the eyes of fish before I bought them, to see if they were full and bright, and then not to look into them again. We picked shot out of pheasants, and I leaned that hares, like horses, have saddles. Dunmore gives us a glimpse of the richness and warmth that Ruby brought to her parents, Rebecca and Adam. This is a sombre book, though well crafted and not without colour.

Mourning Ruby

Helen Dunmore is a poet and there are moments in the narrative which are overwritten, though generally she knows well how to handle words and make them seem acceptable to us. She is also particularly good on female characters and the minutia of every-day domestic realism. Nevertheless, an intelligent and ultimately moving novel.