Words

Praise for The Salt God’s Daughter

“A book that is thrilling in its truth about the world, a book that captures your imagination so completely that you actually feel scared by the thought you might have never held this book in your hands; that you might have missed it completely. Ilie Ruby’s The Salt God’s Daughter is that kind of book. It is as stunning as an image by Joan Miró, as layered as one by René Magritte.”
The Rumpus

“A breathtaking, fiercely feminine take on American magical realism. Ruby spins sweeping mythologies without straying far from the story of a young woman just trying to survive.”
Interview Magazine

“This enjoyable read stays true to this objective throughout, bringing unforgettable characters to readers through circumstances that are believable, yet nestled in the cultural traditions and superstitions we sometimes need to guide us through difficult times.”
The LA Review

“When a blue moon rises, mistakes can be undone, lost children can find their homes, and sea lions can shed their skin… This is a bewitching tale of lives entangled in lushly layered fables of the moon and sea.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Lushly woven with elements of folklore, Ruby’s novel is a captivating inquiry into the generational, wayward bonds of mothers and daughters.”
Booklist

“Against a shimmering backdrop of magic, folklore, and deep-buried secrets… this is a story as heartbreaking, gritty, magical, and real as a waking dream, with a sense of place so immediate, you can feel the ocean’s salt spray. To say I loved this book is an understatement.”
—Caroline Leavitt

“Like an ancient fairy tale, or a myth from a lost continent, another time and place. Ilie Ruby offers up a story that is both exquisitely fantastical at the same time that it maintains the feel of unblinking realism. This one’s a story in which to lose one’s self in the best possible way.”
—Joyce Maynard

“Ruby’s book is an eloquent unfolding of language brilliantly crafted. The Salt God’s Daughter is beautiful writing of life, love, relationships between mother and daughter, families of one’s own making, and the push/pull of the moon on the course of relationships. Lovely!”
—McIntyre’s Books, NC

“Magical and gripping, The Salt God’s Daughter captivated me from the very first sentence and has stayed with me long after I finished reading. A lyrical exploration of the timeless search for belonging and the complicated bonds between mothers, daughters and sisters, I devoured the novel in one sitting and then immediately ordered copies for my own mother and sister.”
—Jillian Cantor, author of Margot

“Propulsive, mythic, and rhythmically mastered….a singular, knock-out work of fiction about love and the evolution of identity.”
—James Ragan

The Salt God’s Daughter is ripe with tides and moons, the smell of ocean, the lingering sensation of pink petals and blue nights.  It’s luxuriant writing, thoughtful, pleasingly moody, rustled through with wind.  Yet, no matter how surreal the story becomes, it offers real places, true landscapes, every day truth.”
—Beth Kephart, author of Small Damages

“We ran wild at night, effortless, boundless, under a blood red sky.” Now there’s an energetic beginning for the sister protagonists of Ilie Ruby’s The Salt God’s Daughter (Soft Skull, Sept.). Ruthie and older sister Dolly lead a surprisingly charmed existence, considering that they are essentially homeless and dragged from job to job by wayward, dreamy mother Diana (yes, she’s ruled by the moon). But with Diana’s death they end up in the Bethesda Home for Girls, running wild at night to find life and love. When Ruthie discovers a deserted hotel housing the spirits of sea animals and later has sea-drawn daughter Naida with a mysterious fisherman, the novel turns mystical, with references to Celtic myth. The sun-hard everyday and the misty magic hold together like sea and salt, ocean and beach. A great second novel for award winner Ruby.
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal Editor’s Picks

 

Praise for The Language of Trees

“A literary, emotionally intense ghost story….”
— USA TODAY

“A haunting, lyrical story of love, loss, and second chances….”
Publishers Weekly

The Language of Trees, like Whitman’s Leaves of Grass though in a magic realist vernacular, refreshingly asserts that deeply American conviction: the gravest natural instinct is to heal and be healed. A shimmeringly heart-felt story.”
–Gregory Maguire, author of the Wicked series

“Rarely do debut novels cover the complicated emotional terrain of The Language of Trees.  This is no simple right-of-passage story but rather an eloquently written journey that explores our strengths and vulnerabilities, our love of those who most need us, and whom we need most.  Ilie Ruby is a shining new voice, powerful and true, worthy of our closest attention.”
–James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries

The Language of Trees is a haunting novel about the enduring power of love.  Crafted with suspenseful pacing and delicate imagery, Ilie Ruby’s book combines the qualities of an irresistible ghost story with a healing tale of redemption.  It’s a vivid and compelling read.”
–Elizabeth Rosner, author of Blue Nude and The Speed of Light

“Ilie Ruby’s haunting story seems to spring fully formed from the mystical setting she so beautifully describes. The Language of Treeswill make you believe that spirits live on, that hands can heal, and that if you open your heart wide enough, the world is full of second chances.”
–Diane Chamberlain

“Eloquent and compelling, The Language of Trees is a luminous gem in the hypnotic waters of seduction. Ilie Ruby’s prose has at once a deeply lush and evocative serenity, poetically imagistic and rhythmically mastered, even as it lures us up into the lilac scents of restless spirits or down into the nuanced depths of a child’s catatonic paralysis. Ruby is master of her subject. Her characters are empathetic portraits of everyone or everything “wounded,” a mythic world of Seneca tribal legend, blind faith, and the sobering mania of guilt, all intimately woven by the haunt of memory and mourning– and finally love. Ruby inspires us to leap every hurdle of “risk” and “Reach, Reach” into the open core of our souls for ancestral and personal redemption. A remarkable debut author, hers is the language of the human spirit working in conjunction with the healing spirit of the earth.”
–James Ragan, author of Too Long A Solitude
and The Hunger Wall