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Extended Audio Sample Ruby’s Spoon: A Novel, by Anna Lawrence Pietroni Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (100 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Lawrence Pietroni Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the heart of Black Country, England, Cradle Cross is a town out of time, an isolated pocket of the country whose customs and views have remained intact since medieval times. In 1933, the town is still reeling from the Great War and dominated by a button factory in terminal decline. Into this exotically grim environment arrives Isa Fly, a mysterious white-haired young woman from the coast. Isa is a magnetic presence who exerts a romantic pull on everyone she meets. Ruby Tailor, motherless and thirteen years old, is instantly drawn to her; as is Captin, the proprietor of the local chip shop, a fifty-year-old bachelor and father figure to Ruby; and Truda Blick, the Oxford-educated spinster who’s inherited the failing button factory. But Isa is viewed with increasing suspicion by the tight-knit women of Cradle Cross, who come to see her as the cause of the town’s accelerating misfortunes and, ultimately, fear her as a witch.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Mystery, witchcraft, and a precocious young narrator enliven Pietroni’s debut…Ruby is one of those bright narrators whose insights into the treacheries of the adult world are heartrending…Fans of Hardy, Dickens, and, more recently, Michel Faber and Sarah Waters will find much to enjoy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Absorbing and suspenseful; vibrant local color and threads of mysticism add a fresh twist as well…With her first novel reminiscent of the works of Elizabeth Gaskell and Charles Dickens, Pietroni is a talent to watch. Fans of literary and modern historical fiction will enjoy this offering.”

    Library Journal

  • “This enthralling, suspenseful debut novel…has the feel of a grim fairy tale…Of the many riches it offers, it is the winning lead character, a lonely teen brave enough to have a dream despite her impoverished circumstances, who will capture readers’ hearts.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A Booklist Top 10 Choice for First Novel
  • A 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Christy | 1/12/2014

    " There were elements of this book that I liked, and it's the sort of book that I normally enjoy very much. However, I found the dialect extremely difficult to read. I also found the pacing to be off. The story takes place over the course of just a few days, yet it felt like weeks were going by. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Linda | 1/12/2014

    " This book was so wonderful that I tried to ration it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Eve | 1/11/2014

    " Another one that just couldn't hold my interest. :( "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Judy | 1/11/2014

    " Slow, found myself skipping bits. It was a good storyline that would have made a good short story. "

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About the Author

Anna Lawrence Pietroni grew up outside of Birmingham, England. She graduated with a first class degree from Oxford and worked for several years in the British prison system before turning to writing. Ruby’s Spoon was her first novel.