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Extended Audio Sample Diamond Ruby: A Novel, by Joseph Wallace Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (420 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Wallace Narrator: Lorna Raver Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Seventeen-year-old Ruby Thomas, newly responsible for her two young nieces after a devastating tragedy, is determined to keep her family safe in the vast, swirling world of 1920s New York City. She’s got street smarts, boundless determination, and one unusual skill: the ability to throw a ball as hard as the greatest pitchers in a baseball-mad city.

From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow. But her fame comes with a price, and Ruby must escape a deadly web of conspiracy and threats from Prohibition rumrunners, the Ku Klux Klan, and the gangster underworld.

Based on a true story and peopled with such heroes of the time as Babe Ruth and Jack Dempsey, Diamond Ruby is "the exciting tale of a forgotten piece of baseball’s heritage, a girl who could throw with the best of them. A real page-turner." (Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row).

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Lively and entertaining…includes all sorts of colorful characters and fascinating social history…the story of an unassuming, courageous young woman who uses the national pastime to become a pioneering heroine in a man’s world.”

    Washington Post

  • “Based on the true story of a lady pitcher who struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in exhibition play, this debut novel from nonfiction author Wallace…is a diverting sports tale…Sharply sketched, convincing historical characters like Ruth and Dempsey add to the considerable appeal of Wallace’s gritty but fun period baseball tale.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Ruby is a keeper…there are echoes of Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, but this story holds its own, allowing Diamond Ruby her place as a literary gem.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Diamond Ruby is a very special book. The comparisons to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn are not made lightly: Joseph Wallace deserves that accolade and many more. Ruby is a wonderful, memorable character and Wallace’s prose is a perfect match for her.”

    Laura Lippman, New York Times bestselling author of Life Sentences

  • Diamond Ruby is a gem! Moving, fascinating, and ultimately exhilarating. I loved it!”

    S. J. Rozan, Edgar-winning author of The Shanghai Moon

  • “Lorna Raver brings to life Wallace’s depiction of the 1920s, filled with details of baseball, bootleg liquor, corruption, and flashy entertainment. Amid all the scandal and glamour, Ruby stands out as the true star of the show. Raver’s full voice matches Ruby’s deep and determined speech as well as the intonations of the shadier characters Ruby must outwit…Raver’s well-paced narration will have listeners cheering for Ruby to succeed. No love of baseball is required to enjoy this story of the great Diamond Ruby.”


  • Selected for the May 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jenny | 2/8/2014

    " Loved this book, didn't want to put it down. The baseball aspect is very exciting but the real value of this book is the 1920s New York backdrop. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ctrotta | 2/1/2014

    " Very entertaining. Endearing characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Carla Ford | 1/26/2014

    " Ruby Thomas was born tough, and it's a good thing. When her young nieces are left in her care, she does whatever she has to do in order to take care of them. New York City was a hard place to be in the 1920's, especially for this girl who was still a child herself. This wonderful novel is full of some of the biggest names of the time - Babe Ruth, Jack Dempsey, and Joseph Wall writes with such exciting and captivating style that you feel like you are really there. You will find yourself cheering for Ruby, and admiring her tough no nonsense way of dealing with whatever obstacles life throws at her. What a wonderful read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Shelley | 1/14/2014

    " I liked this book - it's baseball, which I adore, and 1920s New York, which is just fun. I'm not normally a fan of books where everything goes wrong for the character, though. That's part of where the comparisons to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn felt wrong to me - Francie has a hard life, but there's beauty and wonder, too. You feel both more keenly because you have the balance. Here, it's just bad after bad after bad, and it's numbing. Ruby was a strong character whom I admired, and the real characters worked into the story mostly worked very very well. Definitely an interesting story. "

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About the Author
Author Joseph Wallace

Joseph Wallace is the author of The Autobiography of Baseball, The Baseball Anthology, and World Series: An Opinionated Chronicle, as well as A Gathering of Wonders: Behind the Scenes at the American Museum of Natural History. He lives with his family in New York City.