Rubies from Burma
by Anne Lovett
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 12 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 12 Jul 2021
It’s a hot July in 1941 rural Georgia.
Plucky Mae Lee, almost eight, feels overshadowed by her beautiful, sultry teenage sister, and barely noticed by her sick mother and preoccupied father. But when a handsome Army paratrooper comes courting her sister, the kindness he shows Mae Lee makes her feel valued.
While the lieutenant risks death to spy and sabotage in Burma, Mae Lee finds she must spy and sabotage in her own house so that her beloved soldier has someone to come home to. When the soldier returns a hero, wounded in body and spirit, he marries the girl he thinks he knows.
Mae Lee, growing into a teen, faces the biggest challenge of her life as the marriage spectacularly unravels.
She must make a choice that will change her life forever.
Rubies from Burma explores the many sides of beauty, true and lasting love, and the sacrifices that families must make both for their country and for each other.
“Rubies from Burma tells the WWII coming of age story of Mae Lee Willis, in the hateful shadow of her beautiful older sister, Ava. Much of the novel focuses on Mae Lee’s gawky stage, her voice, and the South Georgia setting reminiscent of Carson McCullers’s A Member of the Wedding. As she matures the voice changes subtly to match events. The talent shown in Anne Lovett’s debut novel makes her an author to watch. I can’t wait to read her next story.” –Louise Richardson, writer and past president of Sisters in Crime, Georgia Chapter “
Anne Lovett makes an impressive debut with an appealingly spunky young heroine. Mae Lee has the odds stacked against her in rural Georgia. But she creates her own opportunities for love and growth in order to discover that true love is as rare and precious as rubies.” –Sarah Parsonson, PhD, former Dean, Atlanta Art Institute
“As a fellow member of a writing group, I listened with interest to the development of Rubies in Burma: to the range of imagination behind it and the scary pivots of its plot and the lovely turning of tones in movement and relationship. I am glad to discover that it is now being published. Cheers to Anne Lovett!” –Barbara Knott, award-winning author of two chapbooks of poetry and host of online literary/art journal The Grapevine Art & Soul Salon
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 17 members
This is not a romance story but a family saga set just before, during and long after WWII. Rubies from Burma tells the WWII coming of age story of Mae Lee Willis in South Georgia. Mae Lee grows up in an impoverished household and is largely overshadowed by her beautiful but selfish older sister. When her sister snares the son of their father's boss, a lieutenant in the army, everyone considers that a good catch and most of all Mae Lee who has a puppy crush on the man. When he is deployed to Birma it is however Mae Lee who takes the time to write him letters - pretending to be her sister. This is a moving story spanning at least a decade about unconditional love surpassing one's own interest. Not only in the case of Mae Lee but for instance also in that of her father's best friend and in quoted literature. I also liked the period style described in the furniture and clothing. And the author has a pleasant style of writing. A very good debut novel that will be interesting to men and women alike.
I really wanted to read this, it finially downloaded to KINDLE and I couldn't put it down. Adult, not too graphic, deals with difficult situations, well developed characters, a thoroughly good read. Highly recommended. Georgia, 1941. Mae Lee Willis may only be eight years old, but she has her heart set on her older sister’s boyfriend. Frustrated by her sibling’s infidelity to the dashing paratrooper, she takes matters into her own hands. But the little girl never expected spilling the beans would have fatal consequences… When the long-forbidden apple of Mae Lee’s eye returns years later damaged in mind and body from his battles in Burma, she can’t shake her naïve longing. But when a sudden tragedy commits her to her sister’s care, the heartsick teen is forced to face the brutal fragility of family bonds and selfless sacrifice. Will Mae Lee’s WWII flame be smothered by reality? Rubies from Burma is a captivating standalone coming-of-age story. If you like wartime novels, tumultuous relationships, and relatable small-town characters, then you’ll adore Anne Lovett’s enthralling page-turner. A world at war. Romantic tension. A forlorn girl determined to win over a man she cannot have. https://www.librarything.com/work/19058205/edit/202047311
In Rubies from Burma, Mae Lee tells her story growing up as the ugly duckling baby sister to the much older, sultry Ava. Ava knows her effect on men and uses it brazenly to achieve her shallow desires for admiration and material things. At home, she manipulates and exploits her parents and little sister, so that she can get away with as much freedom and little effort or work as possible. Based on Ava's exceptional beauty, both parents hope for a good match for her that would grant her a better life; especially so, since bad luck had lost them relative prosperity, landing them in a life of hardship. Added to that scenario is the escalation of WWII and Mrs Willis' increasingly debilitating illness. Mae Lee develops a crush on Ava's lieutenant suitor, Duke, which slowly develops into deep affection. She does her utmost to rescue him, inadvertently saving Ava in the process. Mae Lee learns early about love, betrayal, loss, and redemption in this beautiful coming-of-age tale. I loved this bittersweet story; both the engaging plot and the wonderful prose, so that it was difficult to put down. I found it an endearing, easy read, although thought-provoking as well.
Thank you NetGalley for this eARC. This coming of age story was so freakin good! It should be a movie. I would be first in line to watch it. A young girl growing up through loss and tragedy. Her sister, oh my gosh. Her brother-in-law, WOW. The whole thing was just so good!
Growing up in rural Georgia during and following WWII provides the backdrop for this coming-of-age story about Mae Lee, the gawky younger sister and her bombshell 16-year-old sister, Ava. More infatuated with her big sister's beau than Ava is, Mae Lee secretly writes him while he risks his life in Burma, hoping to give him a reason to keep fighting and someone to come home to. Rubies from Burma begins with the simple ideas of an 8-year-old child, but grows in complexity as she grows up. The story follows both sisters through tragedy and hardships, helping Mae Lee ultimately understand the human cost of war, how true beauty comes from within, and that there are different types of love, only some of which are true and lasting. There's a lot going on in this book. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for letting me read an advance reader copy.
Rubies from Burma is set in a small town in Georgia during World War II and the years after. It sucked me in from the beginning. I was easily immersed into the surroundings and could imagine the characters' Southern accents. There were times that Mae Lee's thoughts and actions seemed much older than her age so I had a hard time remembering that she was a kid for most of the book. Some parts felt a little rushed which took away from some of the emotions for me. Overall, I think this was a good coming-of-age story and I would recommend it to others that like historical fiction and family sagas. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of Rubies from Burma by Anne Lovett. I was mesmerized by this story and I couldn't put it down! It's a coming of age story told by Mae Lee that is set in Georgia and begins during WWII. Mae Lee has always been in the shadows of her older beautiful sister, Ava. Ava always has the interests of many men, some are not good choices for her. Mae Lee can't help but develop crushes on some of them. When Ava marries one of them. Mae Lee is thrilled. But when tragic deaths occur. Mae Lee moves in with Ava and her husband and learns that all is not that it seems. As Mae Lee struggles with her own growing independence, she also faces secrets kept by her sister and husband. Her husband has PSTD which wasn't widely understood at that time. Her sister Ava struggles with the need for constant attention from men. The story continues into the 1950s so we see how Mae Lee grows into a strong, confident woman. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more books by Anne Lovett.
A world at war. Romantic tension. A forlorn girl determined to win over a man she cannot have.Georgia, 1941.Mae Lee Willis may only be eight years old, but she has her heart set on her older sister’s boyfriend. Frustrated by her sibling’s infidelity to the dashing paratrooper, she takes matters into her own hands.But the little girl never expected spilling the beans would have fatal consequences…When the long-forbidden apple of Mae Lee’s eye returns years later damaged in mind and body from his battles in Burma, she can’t shake her naïve longing. But when a sudden tragedy commits her to her sister’s care, the heartsick teen is forced to face the brutal fragility of family bonds and selfless sacrifice.Southern states were critical to the war effort during WWII (1941-45)and none more so than Georgia.Georgians served in the U.S. Armed Forces,and countless others found employment in burgeoning wartime industries.Their experiences were pivotal in determining the state's future development, and the war itself marked a watershed in Georgia's history,as the war accelerated Georgia's modernization, lifting it out of the Great Depression and ushering it into the mainstream of American life.By WWII, PTSD symptoms were identified as “Combat Stress Reaction” or “Battle Fatigue”.Symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into four main categories: “Intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions”.Thus, the effects of PTSD on WWII vets were not isolated to the vets themselves, as evidenced through high rates of marital discord following the war.There are lessons to be learnt here such as being empathetic towards others by looking beyond the superficial.Sometimes you can spend too long on a one-sided, unavailable love.As entrepreneur Paul Hudson rightly pointed out, “It’s the kind of love that doesn’t signal the beginning of something beautiful, but rather the end of something that might have been beautiful, but will never amount to anything more than what it is.”Mae Lee goes through a real rite of passage,from adolescence to adulthood,forced to confront what truly matters to her in the end.
Anne Lovett's novel is what needs to be called Seraphic, and a Kalon worth anything else. Splendiferous in the way it unfolds, carrying forward the grace and the pulchritude with ease. Rubies From Burma is a tale of everything that a war has in it to say when it draws the finish line, in addition to reciting with a bodacious beauty the stories of Cordolium (heartache) and Belamour (the one who is loved). 10-year-old Mae Lee grows in the shadows of her sultry, and seductive sister Ava Willis who seems to have Ambrosian Blood pumping through her veins. Quoting Mae, 'Ava is too beautiful for words, and I am not.' With her Chap always staying occupied, and her mum Gwen who is sick, Mae's heart of the child yearns hard to be loved. So, when the paratrooper Duke comes over courting her sister, she finds herself drawn towards him, as the lone one who acknowledges the twerp, as Ava calls her, as his adorable punkin. The war knows well to pull the strings on the edges, and scar people for as long as it likes too. When Duke becomes the prey of that vicious game, and returns home to submit his heart back to the woman he thought he knew well, the things that unfold sees an all-grown Mae in the position of the adhesive. But can she, to know all the secrets that lay within her big brother's heart? Above all, can she trust people of her own? Damn! The way she writes, describes, proceeds, and shows sees no words falling from my tongue, leaving me with those vivid memories of her letters to keep and to cherish. With every step I took in this tale of war, love, and closure, I felt my heart wanting more of everything Anne had to tell her readers, and inspite of everything, I found my heart thumping loud as the pages in Netgalley stared at me at 520, and I had just seventeen pages left! All I wanted was more, more, and more, for nothing actually seemed enough to me in this wondrous tale, glittering just like the title, Like the Lychnis. Anne, ye left me with a heavy heart to heal, and to soothe, all the while I had my brother stare at his sister crying her heart out for Mae, for Duke, for Ava, and all those characters out there. Thanks a lot NetGalley for this copy, and pulling me in into a tale that shall never leave my heart for generations to come! Period Romance lovers! This Book is worth everything. Do give it a shot!!
What a great read, so beautifully written. Set in the 1940’s near the end of WWII it’s a story of Mae Lee a young girl coming of age and her older sister Ava. It’s a story of finding ones self, of loss, of yearning, of love, of commitment , of sacrifices. The story line follows the sisters family, a soldier’s return from overseas , getting married and then life living with PTSD. I was glad the author tackled this subject matter, even though the story is set years ago it rings true to many of our soldiers today. Living with someone with PTSD from war or peacekeeping can be a struggle.... I was so glad I picked this book to read at the last minute....I would recommend it my friends. I was very fortunate to receive an advance copy of this book from NetGalley, my comments are my own opinions.