Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy)

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9780805092523: Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy)

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon―the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Kerstin Gier is the bestselling author of the Ruby Red trilogy, as well as several popular novels for adults. She lives in Germany.

Anthea Bell is the foremost translator of German literature in the world. And she thinks Ruby Red is just "charming"!

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

ONE
 
I FIRST FELT IT in the school canteen on Monday morning. For a moment it was like being on a roller coaster when you’re racing down from the very top. It lasted only two seconds, but that was long enough for me to dump a plateful of mashed potatoes and gravy all over my school uniform. I managed to catch the plate just in time, as my knife and fork clattered to the floor.
“This stuff tastes like it’s been scraped off the floor anyway,” said my friend Lesley while I mopped up the damage as well as I could. Of course everyone was looking at me. “You can have mine too, if you fancy spreading some more on your blouse.”
“No thanks.” As it happens, the blouse of the St. Lennox High School uniform was pretty much the color of mashed potatoes anyway, but you still couldn’t miss seeing the remaining globs of my lunch. I buttoned up my dark blue blazer over it.
“There goes Gwenny, playing with her food again!” said Cynthia Dale. “Don’t you sit next to me, you mucky pup.”
“As if I’d ever sit next to you of my own free will, Cyn.” It’s a fact, I’m afraid, that I did quite often have little accidents with school lunches. Only last week my pudding had hopped out of its dish and landed a few feet away, right in a Year Seven boy’s spaghetti carbonara. The week before that I’d knocked my cranberry juice over, and everyone at our table was splashed. They looked as if they had measles. And I really couldn’t count the number of times the stupid tie that’s part of our school uniform had been drenched in sauce, juice, or milk.
Only I’d never felt dizzy at the same time before.
But I was probably just imagining it. There’d been too much talk at home recently about dizzy feelings.
Not mine, though: my cousin Charlotte’s dizzy spells. Charlotte, beautiful and immaculate as ever, was sitting right there next to Cynthia, gracefully scooping mashed potatoes into her delicate mouth.
The entire family was on tenterhooks, waiting for Charlotte to have a dizzy fit. On most days, my grandmother, Lady Arista, asked Charlotte how she was feeling every ten minutes. My aunt Glenda, Charlotte’s mother, filled the ten-minute gap by asking the same thing in between Lady Arista’s interrogations.
And whenever Charlotte said that she didn’t feel dizzy, Lady Arista’s lips tightened and Aunt Glenda sighed. Or sometimes the other way around.
The rest of us—my mum, my sister Caroline, my brother Nick, and Great-aunt Maddy—rolled our eyes. Of course it was exciting to have someone with a time-travel gene in the family, but as the days went by, the excitement kind of wore off. Sometimes we felt that all the fuss being made over Charlotte was just too much.
Charlotte herself usually hid her feelings behind a mysterious Mona Lisa smile. In her place, I wouldn’t have known whether to be excited or worried if dizzy feelings failed to show up. Well, to be honest, I’d probably have been pleased. I was more the timid sort. I liked peace and quiet.
“Something will happen sooner or later,” Lady Arista said every day. “And we must be ready.”
Sure enough, something did happen after lunch, in Mr. Whitman’s history class. I’d left the canteen feeling hungry. I’d found a black hair in my dessert—apple crumble with custard—and I couldn’t be sure if it was one of my own hairs or a lunch lady’s. Anyway, I didn’t fancy the crumble after that.
Mr. Whitman gave us back the history test we’d taken last week. “You obviously prepared well for it. Especially Charlotte. An A-plus for you, Charlotte.”
Charlotte stroked a strand of her glossy red hair back from her face and said, “Oh, my!” as if the result came as a surprise to her. Even though she always had top marks in everything.
But Lesley and I were pleased with our own grades this time, too. We each had an A-minus, although our “preparation” had consisted of eating crisps and ice cream while we watched Cate Blanchett in  Elizabeth and then  Elizabeth: The Golden Age on DVD. We did pay attention in history class, though, which I’m afraid couldn’t be said for all our other courses.
Mr. Whitman’s classes were so intriguing that you couldn’t help listening. Mr. Whitman himself was also very interesting. Most of the girls were secretly—or not so secretly—in love with him. So was our geography teacher, Mrs. Counter. She went bright red whenever Mr. Whitman passed her. And he  was terribly good-looking. All the girls thought so, except Lesley. She thought Mr. Whitman looked like a cartoon squirrel.
“Whenever he looks at me with those big brown eyes, I feel like giving him a nut,” she said. She even started calling the squirrels running around in the park Mr. Whitmans. The silly thing is that somehow it was infectious, and now, whenever a squirrel scuttled past me, I always said, “Oh, look at that cute, fat little Mr. Whitman!”
I’m sure it was the squirrel business that made Lesley and me the only girls in the class who weren’t crazy about Mr. Whitman. I kept trying to fall in love with him (if only because the boys in our class were all somehow totally childish), but it was no good. The squirrel comparison had lodged itself in my mind and wouldn’t go away. I mean, how can you feel romantic about a squirrel?
Cynthia had started the rumor that when he was studying, Mr. Whitman had worked as a male model on the side. By way of evidence, she’d cut an ad out of a glossy magazine, with a picture showing a man not unlike Mr. Whitman lathering himself with shower gel.
Apart from Cynthia, however, no one thought Mr. Whitman was the man in the shower-gel ad. The model had a dimple in his chin, and Mr. Whitman didn’t.
The boys in our class didn’t think Mr. Whitman was so great. Gordon Gelderman, in particular, couldn’t stand him. Because before Mr. Whitman came to teach in our school, all the girls in our class were in love with Gordon. Including me, I have to admit, but I was only eleven at the time and Gordon was still quite cute. Now, at sixteen, he was just stupid. And his voice had been in a permanent state of breaking for the last two years. Unfortunately, the mixture of squealing and growling still didn’t keep him from spewing nonsense all the time.
He got very upset about getting an F on the history test. “That’s discrimination, Mr. Whitman. I deserve a B at least. You can’t give me bad marks just because I’m a boy.”
Mr. Whitman took Gordon’s test back from him, turned a page, and read out, “Elizabeth I was so ugly that she couldn’t get a husband. So everyone called her the Ugly Virgin.”
The class giggled.
“Well? I’m right, aren’t I?” Gordon defended himself. “I mean, look at her pop-eyes and her thin lips and that weird hairstyle.”
We’d gone to study the pictures of the Tudors in the National Portrait Gallery, and in those paintings, sure enough, Queen Elizabeth I didn’t look much like Cate Blanchett. But first, maybe people in those days thought thin lips and big noses were the last word in chic, and second, her clothes were really wonderful. Third, no, Elizabeth I didn’t have a husband, but she had a lot of affairs, among them one with Sir … oh, what was his name? Anyway, Clive Owen played him in the second film with Cate Blanchett.
“She was known as the Virgin Queen,” Mr. Whitman told Gordon, “because…” He paused and looked anxiously at Charlotte. “Are you feeling all right, Charlotte? Do you have a headache?”
Everyone looked at Charlotte, who had her head in her hands. “I feel … I just feel dizzy,” she said, looking at me. “Everything’s going round and round.”
I took a deep breath. So here we go, I thought. Lady Arista and Aunt Glenda would be over the moon.
“Wow, cool,” whispered Lesley. “Is she going to turn all transparent now?” Although Lady Arista had repeatedly told us that under no circumstances were we ever to tell any outsider what was special about our family, I’d decided to ignore the ban when it came to Lesley. After all, she was my very best friend, and best friends don’t have secrets from each other.
Since I’d known Charlotte (which in fact was all my life), she’d always seemed somewhat helpless. But I knew what to do. Goodness knows Aunt Glenda had told me often enough.
“I’ll take Charlotte home,” I told Mr. Whitman, as I stood up. “If that’s okay.”
Mr. Whitman’s gaze was fixed on Charlotte. “I think that’s a good idea, Gwyneth,” he said. “I hope you feel better soon, Charlotte.”
“Thanks,” said Charlotte. On the way to the door, she swayed slightly. “Coming, Gwenny?”
I grabbed her arm. For the first time I felt quite important to Charlotte. It was a nice feeling to be needed for a change.
“Don’t forget to phone and tell me all about it,” Lesley whispered as we passed her.
Feeling slightly better outside the classroom, Charlotte wanted to fetch some things from her locker, but I held her firmly by the sleeve. “Not now, Charlotte! We have to get home as fast as possible. Lady Arista says—”
“It’s gone again,” said Charlotte.
“So? It could come back any moment.” Charlotte let me steer her the other way. “Where did I put that chalk?” As we walked on, I searched my jacket pocket. “Oh, good, here it is. And my mobile. Shall I call home? Are you scared? Silly question, sorry. I’m so excited.”
“It’s okay. No, I’m not scared.”
I glanced sideways at her to check whether she was telling the truth. She had that snooty little Mona Lisa smile on her face. You could never tell what she was hiding behind it.
“Well,  shall I call home?”
“What use would that be?” Charlotte replied.
“I just figured—”
“You can leave the thinking to me, don’t worry,” said Charlotte.
We went down the stone steps to the place where James always sat. He rose to his feet when he saw us, but I just smiled at him. The trouble with James was that no one else could see or hear him—only me.
James was a ghost. Which is why I avoided talking to him when other people were around, except for Lesley. She’d never doubted James’s existence for a second. Lesley believed everything I said, and that was one of the reasons she was my best friend. She was only sorry she couldn’t see and hear James herself.
But I was glad of it, because when James first set eyes on Lesley, he said, “Good heavens above, the poor child has more freckles than there are stars in the sky! If she doesn’t start using a good bleaching lotion at once, she’ll never catch herself a husband!”
Whereas the first thing Lesley said when I introduced them to each other was “Ask him if he ever buried treasure anywhere.”
Unfortunately James was not the treasure-burying type, and he was rather insulted that Lesley thought he might be. He was easily insulted.
“Is he transparent?” Lesley had asked at that first meeting. “Or kind of black and white?”
James looked just like anyone I’d ever met. Except for his clothes, of course.
“Can you walk through him?”
“I don’t know. I’ve never tried.”
“Then try now,” Lesley suggested.
James was not about to let me try that.
“What does she mean, a ghost? The Honorable James Augustus Peregrine Pympoole-Bothame, heir to the fourteenth Earl of Hardsdale, is taking no insults from young girls!”
Like so many ghosts, he refused to accept that he wasn’t alive anymore. Try as he might, he couldn’t remember dying. James and I had met five years ago, on my first day at St. Lennox High School, but to James it seemed only a few days ago that he was sitting in his club playing cards with friends and talking about horses, beauty spots, and wigs. (He wore both a beauty spot and a wig, but they looked better on him than you might think.) He completely ignored the fact that I’d grown several inches since we first met, had acquired breasts, and braces on my teeth, and had shed the braces again. He dismisssed the fact that his father’s grand town house had become a school with running water, electric light, and central heating. The only thing he did seem to notice from time to time was the ever-decreasing length of our school uniform skirts. Obviously girls’ legs and ankles hadn’t often been on show in his time.
“It’s not very civil of a lady to walk past a highborn gentleman without a word, Miss Gwyneth,” he called after me now. He was deeply offended that I’d brushed past him.
“Sorry. We’re in a hurry,” I said.
“If I can help you in any way, I am, of course, entirely at your service,” James said, adjusting the lace on his cuffs.
“I don’t think so, but thanks anyway. We just have to get home, fast.” As if James could possibly have helped in any way! He couldn’t even open a door. “Charlotte isn’t feeling well,” I explained.
“I’m very sorry to hear it,” said James, who had a soft spot for Charlotte. Unlike “that ill-mannered girl with the freckles,” as he called Lesley, he thought my cousin was “delightful, a vision of beguiling charm.” Now he offered more of his flowery flattery. “Pray give her my best wishes. And tell her she looks as enchanting as ever. A little pale, but as captivating as a fairy.”
“I’ll tell her,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“If you don’t stop talking to your imaginary friend,” snapped Charlotte, “you’ll end up in the nuthouse.”
Okay, then I  wouldn’t tell her. She was conceited enough as it was.
“James isn’t imaginary, just invisible. There’s a great difference.”
“If you say so,” replied Charlotte. She and Aunt Glenda thought I just made up James and the other ghosts for attention. Now I was sorry I’d ever told Charlotte about them. As a small child, though, I couldn’t manage to keep my mouth shut about gargoyles coming to life—scrambling down the fronts of buildings before my very eyes and twisting their Gothic faces for me to see. The gargoyles were funny, but there were also some dark, grim-looking ghosts, and I was afraid of those. It took me a couple of years to realize that ghosts can’t hurt you. All they can really do to people is scare them.
Not James, of course. He was not frightening in the least.
“Lesley thinks it may be a good thing that James died young. With a name like Pympoole-Bothame, how would he ever have found a wife?” I said, after making sure James was out of hearing distance. “I mean, who’d marry a man with a name that sounds like Pimple-Bottom?”
Charlotte rolled her eyes.
“He’s not bad-looking,” I went on. “And he’s filthy rich too—if he’s telling the truth about his family. It’s just his habit of raising a perfumed lace hanky to his nose that doesn’t exactly make me swoon.”
“What a shame there’s no one but you to admire him,” said Charlotte.
I thought so myself.
“And how stupid of you to talk about how weird you are outside the family,” added Charlotte.
That was another of Charlotte’s typical digs. It was meant to hurt me, and as a matter of fact, it did.
“I’m not weird!”
“Of course you are!”
“You’re a fine one to talk,  gene carrier!”
“Well, I don’t go blabbing on about it all over the place,” said Charlotte. “You’re like Great-aunt Mad Maddy. She even tells the postman about her visions.”
“You’re a jerk.”
“And you’re naive.”
Still quarreling, we walked through the front hall, past the janitor’s glazed cubicle, and out into the school yard. The wind was picking up, and the ominous sky held the promise of rain. I wished we had grabbed our coats from our lockers.
“Sorry I said that about you being like Great-aunt Maddy,” said Charlotte, suddenly sounding remorseful. “I’m excited, but I am a bit nervous as well.”
I was surprised. Charlotte never apologized.
“I know,” I replied almost too quickly. ...

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Descripción Henry Holt Company, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gwyneth Shepherd s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. Kerstin Gier s Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780805092523

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Descripción Henry Holt Company, United States, 2011. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Gwyneth Shepherd s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. Kerstin Gier s Ruby Red is young adult novel full of fantasy and romance. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780805092523

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