Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Blast from the Past

Sometimes, instead of heading to Barnes and Noble for, say, a 3 hour browsing session, you just need to reach for the back of the book shelf and dust off an old favorite.  One of my old favorites is a tale of magic rings, time travel, castles, secret passageways and life in Victorian Ireland.  I have been reading The Secret of the Ruby Ring by Yvonne MacGrory since the third grade.  Recommended for ages 9 and up, I may be solidly in the "and up" category but I just can't help but keep coming back to this book. It refuses to lose its magic no matter how many times you've read it and no matter how old you are.  Here's a quick snippet:  

For her 11th birthday, Lucy's grandmother gives her a ruby ring.  Lucy discovers the ring has a secret; it grants two wishes to its wearer.  She uses her first wish to travel back in time to 1885 where she finds herself hired as a maid to the very rich and very spoiled young Robert and Elizabeth at Langley castle.  Lucy soon discovers that life as a maid in the Victorian era is not easy, but her new friend Nellie helps her adjust.  When Lucy decides it is time to head home, she reaches for the ring only to discover that it is missing (GAHH!  This part frustrates me every time!).  I don't want to give everything away, but things get a little suspenseful and intense when Lucy's only chance to get home is to convince Robert (Wohoo!  I love Robert!) and Elizabeth (Boo! I should let you make your own decision, but let me save you the trouble, she's a brat) that she is really from the future.  

This book has delightful characters, a brisk plot, and so many wonderful details about life in the late 1880s that you'll find yourself researching recipes for mutton pie.  My point?  I want my own ruby ring, two wishes, and an Irish castle.  Once you read The Secret of the Ruby Ring, I doubt your wish list will differ much from mine.   


  1. I must find a copy of this book. It sounds fabulous!

  2. Okay, I found your blog through our mutual friend, Anna Traina, and girl, you are in my MIND. The Secret of the Ruby Ring clinched it. I LOVED this book as a kid and no one I know has even heard of it! Rock on, Victorian Swag.

  3. Ahh! So glad there is another fan out there! I seriously love this book and think more people should read it. Thanks for the comment and I'm glad you like the blog! We love our readers! :)

  4. THIS IS SO EXCITING! Janine! You're the first person none of us has met that's commented and if we could give you a time travel ring, WE SO WOULD! And Anna's the best! And I obviously really need a library card because this book looks fab!

  5. Do any of you know that The Secret of the Ruby Ring was made into a movie? Well it was and although they made the characters a little older, it is still a wonderful story. They changed the name to The Ruby Ring. One of the stars of the movie, Christien Anholt, who played Robert, later played the part of Nigel Bailey in Relic Hunter, a Canadian TV show that I really love!!! Everyone in the Ruby Ring is great, I must have watched it 10 times!!