Morgan Callan Rogers



…I went toward the china cabinet. I took the heart from the center of the cabinet and walked toward the kitchen with it.


“Not right now, Florine,” Grand said. “You need to calm down. You might break something and then we’d both feel bad.”


“Your glass is more important than me?” I hollered. Then, I ran down the hall, out of the door and down our driveway to the path that led to the state park. Once there, I barged toward the ledges by the ocean, trying to ignore the bully wind that pinched my face and the snow that nipped at my feet. I reached the ledges. Icy spray planted frozen kisses on my face. I screamed out all my rage, sadness, and hurt. “MOTHER,” I shrieked, “Come home. NOW.” But the ocean and the rocks kept up their own icy battle and ignored me. In my desperation, I shouted, “Here! Now give her back to me!” and I threw the red ruby heart into the cold blue sea.


And then Carlie was with me. Sudden heat hugged me from my head to my toes, as my mother wrapped her arms around me. I smelled her perfume and pressed my nose into her hair and it was just us, in a little glowing circle of warmth. I would have been happy to end things there.


But here was Glen, throwing his heavy flannel hunting jacket over me.

From Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea, published by Viking in January 2012. © 2012 by Morgan Callan Rogers

© 2011 Morgan Callan Rogers

“Rogers’ astonishing debut brilliantly illuminates deep loss, impossible longing, and our yearning to hold onto love no matter what. All told in the voice of one remarkable young heroine. So rapturously moving, I could barely bring myself to close the final page.” Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You   

Red Ruby Heart in a Cold Blue Sea

A captivating debut, introducing a spirited young heroine coming of age in coastal Maine during the early 1960s.

When her mother disappears during a weekend trip, Florine Gilham's idyllic childhood is turned upside down. Until then she'd been blissfully insulated by the rhythms of family life in small town Maine: watching from the granite cliffs above the sea for her father's lobster boat to come into port, making bread with her grandmother, and infiltrating the summer tourist camps with her friends. But with her mother gone, the heart falls out of Florine's life and she and her father are isolated as they struggle to manage their loss.

Both sustained and challenged by the advice and expectations of her family and neighbors, Florine grows up with her spirit intact. And when her father's past comes to call, she must accept that life won't ever be the same while keeping her mother vivid in her memories. With Fannie Flagg's humor and Elizabeth Strout's sense of place, this debut is an extraordinary snapshot of a bygone America through the eyes of an inspiring girl blazing her own path to womanhood.

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