In the midst of the heavy-duty reading I’ve been doing as part of my coursework for university, I was in desperate need of something light-hearted and fun to read. I had never read an A.L Michael novel before, but considering that Goodbye Ruby Tuesday featured in Kindle’s Bestsellers list (one of the primary indicators I use when choosing a book), I downloaded it straight away.
I hadn’t read the book’s description, so when I began reading the book it really was a surprise. I must admit, it wasn’t what I was expecting- I had expected the ‘goodbye’ to be someone changing their old personality, but I probably couldn’t have been further away from the reality. However, that isn’t to say that the difference between my expectations and the reality was a bad thing. In fact, I quite liked the reality, and how it serves to show that the loss of someone can bring others around them closer together, or push them to do things they had never considered before. I must say, though, that from the impression that was created of Ruby by other characters, I was half-expecting her to pop up at some point, laughing at the point she had made to the others.
I thought that Michael’s characters were all fairly well-developed, making them feel quite three dimensional and real. My favourite of all, though, was ten year old Esme- with the all the sass and wisdom that fully grown adults wish they had and could use against others. Having said that the characters are developed, I do feel that their narrative arcs and inter-character relationships didn’t have the same feel. For example, Evie’s relationship with Killian, though charming, did feel very rushed considering their first impressions of one another. However, as this book has a sequel, perhaps there is more to learn there.
In the same vein, it seemed that the main ‘event’ of the book sort of appeared out of nowhere, with little build up or explanation and, as a result, made the plot seem under developed and a little rushed. But, once again, perhaps the sequel could offer more insight to this and may provide more of a back story.
I liked the flashbacks from the present day to a previous narrative, as I think it added more depth to character relations and development. It was much easier to gauge how characters came to be in the position that they were after reading about their past. However, again, I do feel that for some characters (the relationship between Evie’s father and Ruby), there could have been more flashbacks, as it could have provided more of an explanation for the main action of the narrative.
Overall, in spite of the apparent flaws in certain parts of the narrative, they weren’t enough to put me off the book completely. I would recommend Goodbye Ruby Tuesday to anyone who is looking for something light hearted and easy to read because, after all, I did like the characters and I am intending on reading the sequel in the future as I am genuinely interested in the future of the characters.