In his award-winning bestseller THE WORLD OF NORMAL BOYS, K.M. Soehnlein introduced readers to the unforgettable teenager Robin MacKenzie, a child of the disco ’70s. In ROBIN AND RUBY, he revisits Robin at twenty, in the middle of the turbulent 1980s, caught between his dreams of being a stage actor and the nightmare of negotiating relationships in an era when sex and death are unavoidably linked.
When his boyfriend dumps him the same weekend his younger sister, Ruby, disappears from a house party on the Jersey Shore, Robin quickly decides to hit the road and find out what happened to her. He’s joined by his roommate George, who for years has been the most solid friend in Robin’s life but has lately been transforming into someone outspoken, unpredictable and alluring in a way that Robin can no longer take for granted.
Meanwhile, Ruby’s on her own adventure, dressed in black, declaring herself an atheist after years as a Catholic good-girl, and getting ready to dump her well-meaning but mostly clueless boyfriend. A chance encounter with Chris, a seductive, troubled boy from her past, sends Ruby out into a long summer night full of danger, sex and the chance to feel true passion for the first time in her young life.
As their paths converge, Robin and Ruby find themselves forced to confront the world around them, put their sibling rivalry aside, learn to make peace with the sadness of their past and step reluctantly into adulthood—all while the politics and pop culture of the ’80s swirl around them: from racial tension and safe-sex education to New Wave music and big hair. Wise, funny, and moving, ROBIN AND RUBY captures that moment when teenage freedom bumps up against adult responsibility, and when what you stand for becomes more important than who you were raised to be.