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Summary

Shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year, 2007.

A story of love, loss, and the distance between three generations of one family, this novel centres on Iris and Ruby, a grandmother and her granddaughter, as they try and make sense of their respective lives.

©2007 Rosie Thomas (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Thomas can write with ravishing sensuality." ( The Times)
"Rosie Thomas is both a subtle and realistic author and her portrait of Iris is never less than absorbing." ( Daily Mail)

What listeners say about Iris and Ruby

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Shifts in time

This audiobook got me through a week in Disneyland Paris with 2 teenagers - great to have something distracting! It was beautifully read by Rula Lenska. The story flitted very well between the two generations and made me want to escape from Paris to Cairo. The war time scenes were particularly well done and I wondered what stories my mother might tell of her own experiences at that time to her granddaughters. Well worth a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 19-10-18

A good read

I loved the story, evocative of place and people. Beautifully read which made the story believable.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautiful moving story

This is second time I have read this book and found it just as brilliant as the first time m made even better this time with the voice of rula lenski

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Such a lovely story

Well read, easy to follow, a really lovely story of age and adolescence, of endless love, of war and loss, against a background of the streets of Cairo, now and during WWII. Well worth it.

2 people found this helpful

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Just not my cup of tea.

I was cajoled by a friend to read something different from my usual fare. She recommended this ( probably as a joke, our tastes in literature differ widely.)
I’m sure it will please those that like this type of book, but not me, I’m afraid. Don’t be put off by the number of stars I have given it. I tried , but failed to get engaged.

1 person found this helpful

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Interesting story, but felt rushed at the end

I really enjoyed this book. I like books set in interesting locations and interesting times and this met both of those, woven into the past/present, young/old stories of iris and her granddaughter.
I enjoyed it right until the end, which somehow felt hurried, like the number of words required had been reached and it had to be concluded in a hurry now.
I was left a little dissatisfied and unfulfilled. A lot of books have an epilogue, which gives just a glimpse into how the characters came out of it and a little 'what happened next' round up , I felt that something like that would have given this tale a proper ending and an extra star on the rating from me at least.

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story

Such a beautiful tale - you could almost feel the heat of Cairo and hear the sounds of the every day life there.
The relationship between Iris and Ruby is one every reader ( listener ) will surely enjoy and even though I read this years ago I adored the audio version just as much!

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Lovely story beautifully narrated

Beautifully descriptive journey around Cairo and it culture intertwined with a love story and three generations and eras. Very easy to get lost in the story.

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Delightful

It is simply impossible not to fall in love with these characters, despite their faults, and Cairo during the early 1940s.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Astrid Dahl
  • 21-04-10

Tender, heart-felt and beautifully narrated

A beautifully written novel with deep understanding of the characters involved and of human nature. The straddling of two eras was well executed. I truly enjoyed the narration which made the story come to life!

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  • Deb
  • 02-03-13

LONG LONG AND LONG

Would you listen to Iris and Ruby again? Why?

No, I wouldn't listen again. I found this book very long and it didn't go anywhere. I am struggling to finish the 2nd part.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Maybe I won't get there

What about Rula Lenska’s performance did you like?

I like Rula's reading but in this book I found it inconsistent. Ruby was part London Goth and part Toffee Tart

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Have yet to get there.

Any additional comments?

I like stories that take me away and this book put me to sleep.

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  • Al
  • 13-03-13

Slow-moving

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would not. To be honest, I only got through the first half. The characters did not draw me in emotionally. Iris's lover was distanced and lacked warmth, so that the affair did not really seem that genuine to me. The story dragged. I am not one to give up early on a book but after the first half I asked myself "do I care what happens to these characters?" The answer was "no."

What aspect of Rula Lenska’s performance would you have changed?

Her voice was good for the character of Iris, the grandmother. But it didn't fit with Ruby's character-it sounded too old and scratchy. And the way she did male voices (especially those of Egyptian characters) got on my nerves... Bad accents and somehow the men came off sounding simple-minded.

Was Iris and Ruby worth the listening time?

Not for me.