Almost Paradise

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Written by Corabel Shofner

Ruby Clyde has the gift of healing and desires to be a nurse when she grows up. However, her own life gets a healthy dose of healing when her mother ends up in jail on an armed robbery charge and Ruby ends up living on Paradise Ranch with her Aunt Eleanor Rose, a solitary nun. For the first time in her life, Ruby is surrounded by nurturing adults who deal with the legalities associated with her mother’s armed robbery charge and offer Ruby a better life.

Although the story deals with mending family relationships and learning to trust adults, the ending is disturbing due to the deceitful plot of twin sisters (Aunt Eleanor Rose and Ruby’s mother) to change identifies in order to send the dying aunt to prison and allow Ruby’s mother to be free to raise Ruby. Freedom never comes from lying. Even though the author attempts to powerfully demonstrate the sacrifices associated with deep love, the message and means chosen is not appropriate.

Review by Christine Neilson, Hillside Elementary School
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: 4th-7th Grade

Almost Paradise
Written by Corabel Shofner
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
296 pages
Release Date: July 25, 2017
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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