Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sunrise was at 7:26 and sunset will be at 5:21. Only a little while more to the equinox, March 20 this year! Cold, overcast, stripes of blue sky and gray clouds and it's supposed to be mostly sunny and close to 50 degrees today.

Dull colors and once more I had to take note of the color in the yard. We have a sustainable, low water, Northwest plants yard so it seems to be mostly gray, green and brown. Some of the things we planted and kept from before the renovation will have great colors, eventually, and then there are the volunteers: the crocuses are rising.

The photo on the left, I don't know the name of this plant but it's strong and rubbery looking, hangs down over the rock wall and has the most vibrant dark blue flowers. All washed out in the camera, though. I find the crocuses most exciting, these little harbingers of spring. They come up everywhere and I have no idea where they'll be next year. The squirrels help to keep the mystery strong.

I finished Ruby Red, by Kerstin Gier, yesterday and so enjoyed it. What if there was a gene for time time travel? What if your cousin was the one in your generation who inherited and was being trained for the experience? And what if all the training should have been for you, instead?

Gwen lives with her extended family in London, keeping watch on her cousin, Charlotte, just in case she disappears from sight and time. The female side of this family has the gene for time travel, exhibiting the signs just around the age of 16. Charlotte has been groomed for this from the time of her birth, long anticipated (since the other family members have been able to at least figure out the when if not the who would be the next in line for the talent) by the family. She knows many languages, has been schooled in different time periods' clothing and manners, can fence and curtsy, and has a comfortable relationship with Gideon, another time traveler.

Unfortunately, Charlotte isn't the one with the gene. It's Gwen. And she hasn't been trained for anything that will help her deal with suddenly appearing in the drawing rooms of ancient mansions.

There are vast, centuries long conspiracies, very interesting time discussions, a missing chronograph, and two of the other time travelers have run away and disappeared into the past. Ruby Red is the first in a trilogy and a fun, funny, light read. I am looking forward to Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green (I think those are the colors!) and more adventures with Gwen and Gideon. Age 12 and up. (Henry Holt. Available in May, 2011. $16.99.)

PS: These books were originally published in German and the only jacket covers I could find were on Kerstin's website (I think it was Kerstin's site!) and they are beautiful! I hope the US publications are as nice.

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