Letters from Ruby is a book that hit me right in the heart.
The descriptions left me *tasting* the story: the town of Victory, St. Jacks Across the Tracks Church, and the parishioners, especially the dear ladies, who are members of the Church.
When Calvin entered the Church for Morning Prayer, he never expected to meet four ladies who would shape his life. Recognizing them at first as Pearls, Brooch, and The Two Purses, Calvin soon learned that they are Ruby, Esther Rose, Mary and Avis... and each one will touch his heart and help him grow in a different way.
The young Reverend Calvin is a character for sure. His first moments after his arrival involve him attempting to break into his new Church's locked door with a long bladed chef's knife which he retrieved from the kitchen set his parents had given him as a going-away present.
Little did Calvin imagine he would end up in the backseat of a police cruiser
because he was wielding the knife in that unorthodox manner!
Yes, the Reverend is nearly arrested on his first day in town.
Letters from Ruby receives its title from the letters that Ruby sends Calvin after he is sent to a new Church in Boston, three years after his arrival in Victory. In those three years he and Ruby bonded so well, through happiness and sadness.
Her letters to him are full of sweet reminiscence and sober reflections about loved ones, her youth, how quickly time passes. Her wisdom is imparted in Calvin's soul as he reads her words to him. There are lines that made me cry as I thought about them.
I was delighted by the letters interspersed through the chapters: I love letters.
Over the years I have had the privilege of writing and receiving handwritten letters,
there is something special about them. St. Paul's New Testament letters are some of my favorite parts of Scripture, because God's Word came through Paul in letter form: written, sealed, and delivered to people who knew they were loved and cared for.
Letters from Ruby gets a five star from me... this story deserves it.
Some of my favorite lines:
"You remind me of him...It's odd to think neither of you ever shared this earth with the other."
"You think you have all the time in the world to get to know someone, but a year, two years, fifty years- it's never enough.
There is always something you never said out loud, although you always meant to.
It hides somewhere in your heart waiting for the right moment to come out. Sometimes you miss the moment. Sometimes you don't realize there was anything still hidden
until it's too late to uncover."
"Two hours later, Calvin was holding Natalie Stewart in his arms.
She had a bright red mark on her forehead and impossibly small fingers.
And when he felt her newborn warmth and the pounding of her strong newborn heart, the last three weeks vanished."
Adam Thomas was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood in 2008 at the age of 25, making him one of the first priests from the millennial generation. His unique voice in the faith community emanates from a combination of his youth, honesty, humor, and tech-savvy nature. A self-described nerd, Adam is the author of Digital Disciple. He also writes the blog WhereTheWind.com, belongs to the Christian Century Blogging Community and Day1.org, and knows everything about Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Adam lives in Weymouth, Massachusetts.