So, as you all know, I moved at the end of October. At some point in unpacking, I realized that I could not for the life of me locate my copy of Ruby. I looked. And I looked. I unpacked more boxes and I looked. I looked in both cars, in my skate bag, in my luggage from Thanksgiving, I looked everywhere I could imagine until I finally had to admit defeat and acknowledge that I should just buy a new copy (I keep them too long to justify just getting one from the library, plus most libraries, I’ve found, have about 10 copies of Flowers in the Attic, a sprinkling of the most recent books, and very little in-between). However, when I went around to the Barnes n Noble, they didn’t have it. Fine, I thought, Amazon it is. So I went and bought the whole Landry series, used but good, so that I was ready and armored up against this sort of thing ever happening again. The new (to me) books should be here any day now.
So guess what was under the passenger seat of my car this morning? Yeah.
And on that note, here we go.
Ruby goes home after fleeing the sleepover, where Gisselle and her friends tricked her into getting her picture taken mid-change. (Out of her clothes, she’s not a werewolf or anything. Sadly.) Edgar lets her in, and Ruby does her best to cover up how upset she is, especially when she sees that Edgar is also upset. She asks after her father and Daphne and is told that her stepmother has gone to bed, but her father has “retired for the evening”. She notes the difference in phrasing, but says goodnight to Edgar and heads upstairs. Once in the upper hall, Ruby hears the crying from her Hot-Uncle-in-a-Coma’s room and, feeling sad for her father, goes into the room to try and talk to him. The crying stops as soon as she knocks on the door, but she goes in anyway and calls for her father. She doesn’t see him, though there are lots of candles lit around the room, but she does take a moment to look at the many photos of Uncle Jean and note that he was, in fact, really really ridiculously good-looking. Oh you Dumas girls, I give up. She never does find Pierre, but is interrupted by Daphne, who pulls her out of the room and demands to know why she’s home. Ruby lies and says that she’s sick, and denies that there are any shenanigans going on over at the slumber party. Ruby also takes another moment to notice how pretty Daphne is and to think about how much she’d like to paint her.
Daphne points out that none of Pierre’s tears and prayers and candles are going to change anything about Jean’s situation, and tells Ruby that he has doctors and priests to talk to if he needs comforting, so Ruby needs to go to bed. And after all, if Ruby’s so sick that she needed to come home, then she needs to go to sleep then, doesn’t she? Ruby gives in and goes to bed. The next morning, she’s woken up by a chipper Pierre, who tells her to have a light breakfast and take it easy that morning, even though she tells him that she feels better. Ruby can’t get over how he could have been sobbing the night before, but so peppy now.
Oh, I’m sorry, Swamp Thing, I must have forgotten to ask for your learned opinion. And “melancholia”? What, he’s got too much black bile? Off with you.
ANYWAY. Pierre tells Ruby that Gisselle called and is spending the day with her friends, and if Ruby feels better later on he’ll take her back over there, but Ruby demurs and says she just wants to relax like he suggested. They have breakfast, and Pierre waxes inappropriately about Gabrielle for a little bit before catching himself and heading to work. As Ruby is reading later on the porch, she’s interrupted by Beau. He’s just come from Claudine’s, and has heard all about the prank. He admits that they’re all still laughing at Ruby, but he tells her that they’re all sharks and terrible people, and he’s come by not to talk about them, but to ask Ruby out on a formal dinner date. He’s made reservations at Arnaud’s, and though Ruby doesn’t really know what that is, she can tell from his tone that it’s meant to be special. She accepts and Beau leaves. Ruby tells her parents about the date and Daphne is understandably confused, given that to her knowledge Beau was dating Gisselle. Pierre is all “Oh come on, honey, they’re young! And it’s not like they were engaged or anything! Ruby’s fitting in! Yay!” Daphne picks out a dress and jewelry for Ruby to wear, and makes her a hair appointment. While she’s picking out the dress, however, Daphne wants to know why Beau is suddenly so interested in Ruby, namely, is it because of her wanton CAJUN ways? Ruby is offended and snaps back that she’s found that well-bred CREOLE girls seem to be more promiscuous, but Daphne isn’t hearing that. She warns Ruby not to shame the family.
Beau arrives all slicked up, and needs Daphne’s help with pinning Ruby’s corsage, since her beauty has made him all trembly. Daphne makes sure to point out that he never has trouble pinning Gisselle. Nice, Daphne. Ruby and Beau go to dinner and have a lovely time, even though Ruby is paranoid, due to all of the warnings and advice Daphne gave her earlier. After dinner, Beau suggests that they go for a ride. Uh oh. They park out by a field somewhere and Beau tells Ruby about his dreams of becoming a doctor, and Ruby tells him a little about growing up in the BAYOU. Beau is confused by how poignantly she describes the SWAMPS and the people, especially Grandmere Catherine, since, after all, she was kidnapped and sold to her, but Ruby plays it off by explaining that GC wasn’t in on the plan, and didn’t find out till much later. Beau accepts this and moves on, namely into “Ruby you look so much like your sister but you’re so much more beautiful and magical lemme help you out of that dress” mode. They make out a little and Beau keeps comparing Ruby to Gisselle, until finally he mentions that he has a blanket in the trunk, and they could go out and lay under the stars. Ruby is not having that, and Beau is annoyed, since, after all, she’s a CAJUN girl, so she’s done this before, right? Ruby snaps that she has not, and Beau then changes tactics to “Then let me be the first, Ruby!” Ruby admits that she likes Beau, but she doesn’t want to do anything that she’ll regret. Beau finally backs off, and laughs that the first time he took Gisselle out to the field, she was all over him, haha, aren’t the twins so different? He drives her home and as he drops her off, they make plans for him to come by the next day so that they can practice their lines for the school play. They kiss good night (Standards Ruby, good lord!) and Ruby goes inside.
She’s met at the door by Edgar, who tells her that her family is waiting for her in the study. She goes in to find Daphne glaring at her, Pierre looking mournful, and Gisselle flashing the evil eye. Turns out that Gisselle told their parents about Annie, the girl from the bus, and naturally painted it in the best possible “Ruby knows a hooker and gave her our address, also she took us to Storyville!” light. Daphne chews her out and shuts down her every attempt to explain, then sends the girls to bed. As they head upstairs Gisselle snots that she hopes Beau and Ruby had a good time on their date. Ruby wonders what possible parts of Gabrielle and Pierre combined to create Gisselle. Um, the best parts?
The next day, Ruby is left alone at the house as Gisselle goes off with Martin and some friends, Pierre goes to the office, and Daphne goes to lunch. Beau comes over like they’d talked about and he and Ruby go up to her studio to practice. Beau is impressed by Ruby’s artwork, and tells her that she should do a drawing of him. As in, all of him. Draw ‘im like your French girls, Ruby. Ruby is embarrassed, though intrigued, but argues that she doesn’t need Daphne to think any less of her than she already does. Ruby tells Beau about Gisselle ratting her out about Annie, and Beau tells her that her sister is just jealous, and it’s too darn bad, because he likes Ruby and nothing’s going to stop that. They make out some, then try to practice their lines, but neither of them can concentrate. Beau locks the door and gets all intense and “Paint me, Ruby”, then he takes all of his clothes off. Subtle, Beau. Ruby tries to get him to knock it off, but eventually she gives in and draws him. Then they have sex. It’s all very “Wait!” and “Oh okay” and there are waves and explosions, and then they’re getting dressed after and Ruby is upset because she’d thought she was different than her Landry ancestors, but she isn’t. She can’t explain that to Beau, however, so things get a little awkward until he assures her that he loves her. Oh, okay. Shut up, Beau. Then, there is a pounding at the door and Daphne is out in the hall yelling at them to unlock the door. Buzz. Kill.
They rearrange themselves as fast as they can and unlock the door. Daphne is highly suspicious, but as Beau produces the scripts and Ruby’s hidden the drawing, she’s got nothing to work with. She kicks them out of the studio and warns them against locking doors in her house. Beau leaves. The next morning when he picks her up for school, he’s relieved that Daphne didn’t try to get any more information out of Ruby after he left, but, as his parents are having dinner at the Dumas’ house the next week, he thinks he and Ruby will just have to cool it down for a little while. Unfortunately, that’s not meant to be, for almost as soon as Ruby walks into the school, she feels like everyone is giggling and smirking at her. Later, she bumps into a guy in the hallway who flashes a copy of her naked picture at her. Gisselle and her friends show up, and Gisselle laughs and advises everyone to make sure that people know that it’s Ruby and not her in the picture. Ruby freaks out and screams at them, calling them animals, then, once again, she runs out of the school toward home. She has got to learn not to react that way all of the time.
Ruby goes home and is met once again by Edgar, but this time she doesn’t try to hide how upset she is, and Edgar, visibly angry, takes her back to see Nina. Ruby tells Nina that every time she tries to be happy, Gisselle just ruins it, and Nina decides that the only thing to do is to go and have the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans put a spell on Gisselle.
Ruby is pretty much on my side of this idea, but Nina convinces her that this will take the bad out of Gisselle’s heart and teach her to be good. Ruby can’t deny that that’s a pretty good idea, so she agrees and they head into a poorer neighbor than Ruby was expecting, since she thought that the Queen (Mama Dede) would live in like, a voodoo palace or something. Mama Dede is a beautiful young blind woman, and she listens to Nina’s description of Gisselle and her crimes and agrees to help. She takes Ruby’s hand and knows that she and Gisselle don’t really know each other, and they burn some candles and there’s a snake in a box and Nina coaxes Ruby to tell Mama Dede Gisselle’s name and there’s chanting and then Nina gives Mama one of Gisselle’s hair ribbons and into the snake box it goes. Yowsa.
Ruby and Nina go home, but when Gisselle returns from school that day, she doesn’t seem different at all. She tells Ruby that after she left, Beau got into a fight with Billy and they both got sent to Dr. Storm’s office. The Andreas parents will have to go see the principal before Beau can go back to school, and Gisselle also got sent up to the office and Dr. Storm will be calling Pierre and Daphne. Gisselle tells her sister that it was all just a joke, but now everyone thinks Ruby is crazy for freaking out the way she did. Ruby tells Gisselle that she’s sorry Beau got in trouble for protecting her, but that everyone at school is awful and even though Ruby comes from the SWAMPS, people there aren’t as needlessly nasty and cruel as they are in New Orleans. She really thought that she and Gisselle could be real sisters, but instead Gisselle just abuses her at every turn. Gisselle notes that Ruby’s making her out to be the bad guy when she (Ruby) is the one who just showed up out of nowhere and stole Pierre’s love, stole everyone’s affection, and stole Beau. Gisselle warns Ruby not to get her in trouble when Dr. Storm calls and leaves.
That night, the principal does call and talks to Daphne. Apparently after the fight between Beau and Billy, a teacher took the picture and showed it to Dr. Storm, who in turn tells Daphne about it. She calls the twins into the study and demands to know which one of them let that picture be taken. Ruby admits that she’s the one in the picture, but she lies for Gisselle and says that the boys snuck into Claudine’s without any of the girls knowing and took the picture. Oh Ruby. Daphne doesn’t know how her newly found swamp daughter keeps getting herself into these situations, but she’s had it. Ruby is grounded. Dinner that night is sad and subdued, with Daphne furious, Pierre morose and disappointed, and Gisselle gloating. When Ruby goes to bed that night, she keeps thinking back to the voodoo ceremony, to the snake box and the hair ribbon, and she’s so angry with Gisselle that she finds herself wishing that something really would happen to her sister.
Thoughts that she regrets a couple of days later.
Okay! Coming up: more voodoo, cautionary tales, field trips gone awry, and more bratty Gisselle. I’m so glad to be back!
Also: To the wonderful wonderful folks who nominated me for blog awards, I’m working on returning the favor, I just wanted to have a recap up before I did it.