“What if you had been living a lie for most of your life?
In the first flush of love, Jonty promised to buy Lydie a precious ruby necklace when his art career took off. But the ruby never materialised and Lydie is left heartbroken when Jonty ends the relationship, leaving her pregnant out of wedlock, much to the fury of her straight-laced parents. Nearly thirty years later and Lydie still thinks of Jonty and the passion they shared, stuck as she is in a marriage she never wanted to a man she was never in love with and desperate for a way out …
And then Jonty comes back into the picture. But not without a set of tragic circumstances that shock Lydie to the core and change her life beyond anything she could have ever imagined.”
Red is for Rubies starts with a life changing upheaval. Lydies’s family moved to a new a town and it never really feel like home to her. Added to her distress is the fact her daughter Grace, returns home after a break up from her boyfriend Justin.
Together they try to forge a new life for themselves. Lydie resumes selling her home-made jewellery, Ralph opens his new art gallery and Grace gets a job at a local pottery. While the combination of those things seem mundane, they spark off the most heart wrenching of events.
Lydie is reunited with her soul mate Jonty when her family suffered tragedy. Lydie and Jonty’s unique relationship ended thirty years previously. A casualty caused by miscommunication, bad timing and family intervention. Although a lifetime had past since Jonty and Lydie had been separated- they always held a torch for each other .
Lydie and Jonty want to pick up the thread of their relationship but there are other considerations that require their tact. Red is for Rubies is a bitter-sweet story and every situation is handled with compassion and realism.
Linda Mitchelmore creates an emotionally fraught atmosphere that compels you to empathize with her characters. Characters that are so fleshed out you would think you were reading a family’s memoir rather than a work of fiction.
I loved the fact that Linda Mitchelmore approached the subject of soul mates realistically. So many other books gives the Disney version of love conquers all; and that is rarely the case. Red is for Rubies gives us the version that most often happens when the time isn’t always right.
Red is for rubies is a finely crafted family drama that will bring tears and warm your heart. As Lydie tries to rebuild her life, you are left with a renewed sense of hope and sends the message that everything happens exactly how it should and in its own time.
The concept of a soul mate is as old as time itself, even the ancient Greeks had their own theory but why has it invaded our collective conscience now? The quest for finding your soul mate is a modern phenomenon, and a multi-million dollar business. If you ask any single person who is on the dating scene – who they would like to find and the word soul mate maybe mentioned a few times.
What exactly a soul mate is offers many different variations. The most popular belief is: “A person with whom you have an immediate connection the moment you meet — a connection so strong that you are drawn to them in a way you have never experienced before. As this connection develops over time, you experience a love so deep, strong and complex, that you begin to doubt that you have ever truly loved anyone prior. Your soul mate understands and connects with you in every way and on every level, which brings a sense of peace, calmness and happiness when you are around them. And when you are not around them, you are all that much more aware of the harshness of life, and how bonding with another person in this way is the most significant and satisfying thing you will experience in your lifetime. You are also all that much aware of the beauty in life, because you have been given a great gift and will always be thankful.- Urban dictionary.
From that definition, it is clear that is something we all want. Many psychiatrists claim that the “Soul mate”mentality is actually unobtainable and is a false expectations that could harm a potential relationship. Many argue that it is an unhealthy quest looking for someone who “completes” you and should be looking inwards to completing yourself.
Reading novels from pre- Twentieth century, most women wanted a man who was pleasant, who could afford to keep them in some sort of relative style and if love is ever mentioned – it is thought it would come later. Why this sudden change in attitudes in only a few decades?
Maybe Hollywood films are to blame for the soul mate boom in modern culture; there are far too many films to even list because it is expected and now considered the norm. In some ways, the have lessened the rarity of soul mate and portrayed it as something everyone must have, like it was the latest fashion accessory.
A quote Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat Pray Love” claims a soul mate as thing totally different from the Hollywood version :“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”
Which ever version you choose to believe, the search for a soul mate is a billion dollar business. You don’t have to go far to see the constant spam from dating agencies and it is a common theme in the modern romance novel. The stark reality is that is that kind of relationship will not happen for the vast majority of us.
This month I will be exploring the theme of Soul mates from all aspects of the spectrum. I have also asked many of my favourite authors what a soul mate means to them. As you can guess, the answers varies from person to person.
Whether you are a believer or think soul mates are mythical creatures like unicorns, I hope you will enjoy the wonderful books featured this month. As always, we at Elder Park Book Reviews love to hear from you! I hope you will have time to leave comments about the books and tell us what a soul mate means to you.
Here is today’s quiz: “Is HE your True soul mate?”