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The Scandalous Life of Ruby Devereaux

"A 90-year-old writer recounts her globe-trotting life through twelve men she’s loved, and the identities she carved around them"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

‘Welcome to my life in twelve men. Enjoy. Because I very much did.’ 

If you were a fan of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid and looking for another book which follows an older, now-famous woman’s life through interviews, with a reveal at the end, then I think you’ve found it in The Scandalous Life of Ruby Devereaux (though of course it’s not exactly the same kind of reveal!) 

The book roughly alternates chapters between Ruby’s modern life – involving the practicalities of writing this book in her 90th year with her publisher and interviewer, young Jude – and her narrating the story of her life. This is done through a chronology of twelve men, with, of course, varying personalities, countries, and types of relationship. Modern readers may well baulk at some of these choices (I was tickled by literally the opening to the first man being ‘He was, first and foremost, my cousin’ – but I suppose it was 1947 and a second cousin)! But this is the scandalous life of Ruby, and the book is also a series of set pieces exploring a woman in different moments of history over the 90 years of her life, from the glamour of New York stars, to the perils of war and espionage. 

Lily Lindon

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