* Copy courtesy of Harper Collins Australia *
Southern Ruby by Belinda Alexandra is an excellent read, but I have to say it has the most misleading book cover I've seen in a long time. You could be forgiven for assuming Southern Ruby is a romance novel, however what you'll find instead is a steamy mystery set in New Orleans just prior to Hurricane Katrina.
Amanda is the protagonist and the family matriarch Ruby takes her back to the 1950s to fill in details of her family history.
Southern Ruby is brimming with themes of forbidden love, identity and family, loss, class, racial conflict, jazz and burlesque dancing and I really enjoyed it. Southern Ruby also touches on an event in recent history I'm fascinated by, and that's Hurricane Katrina.
New Orleans could easily be considered the third character in the novel and a place I've always been fascinated by. One of my favourite authors - Anne Rice - has expertly captured the essence of New Orleans in her writing, however Belinda Alexandra is the first author to come close to equalling her talent on the page in my opinion.
I enjoyed discovering a new (to me) Australian author in Belinda Alexandra and I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.
My rating = ****