> Skip to content
  • Published: 14 September 2004
  • ISBN: 9780141901565
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

Mourning Ruby



More than thirty years ago, a mother laid her newborn baby in a shoebox and left it by the bins in the backyard of an Italian restaurant. Now the baby, Rebecca, is a mother herself, and she and her husband Adam are about to experience the greatest tragedy parents can face. Like a Russian doll, this novel opens to reveal a brilliant richness of stories locked within.

MOURNING RUBY is Helen Dunmore's most ambitious novel to date, hugely moving and strongly plotted, about memory and history - both personal and public - about love, loss and mourning, and ultimately about the most important relationship in any novel - that of the reader to the writer.

  • Published: 14 September 2004
  • ISBN: 9780141901565
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 320

About the author

Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore was an award-winning novelist, children’s author and poet who will be remembered for the depth and breadth of her fiction. Rich and intricate, yet narrated with a deceptive simplicity that made all of her work accessible and heartfelt, her writing stood out for the fluidity and lyricism of her prose, and her extraordinary ability to capture the presence of the past.

Her first novel, Zennor in Darkness, explored the events which led D. H. Lawrence to be expelled from Cornwall on suspicion of spying, and won the McKitterick Prize. Her third novel, A Spell of Winter, won the inaugural Orange Prize for Fiction in 1996, and she went on to become a Sunday Times bestseller with The Siege, which was described by Antony Beevor as a ‘world-class novel’ and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel of the Year and the Orange Prize. Published in 2010, her eleventh novel, The Betrayal, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and The Lie in 2014 was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and the 2015 RSL Ondaatje Prize.

Her final novel, Birdcage Walk, deals with legacy and recognition – what writers, especially women writers, can expect to leave behind them – and was described by the Observer as ‘the finest novel Helen Dunmore has written’. She died in June 2017, and in January 2018, she was posthumously awarded the Costa Prize for her volume of poetry, Inside the Wave.

Also by Helen Dunmore

See all

Related titles