Through the narrative voice of nine-year-old Ruby Bronstein, first time novelist Nellie Hermann takes readers on a journey through time to witness the tragic events that drove this young girl emotionally inward and irrevocably altered her family’s relationships.
While set primarily in the picturesque eastern states of Massachusetts and Maine, with young Ruby recalling the idyllic landscapes and formative scenes of her family’s summer home on the shore, this multilayered coming of age story succeeds in its universal familiarity. With three older brothers, Abe, Aaron, and Nathan, Ruby is the youngest child of a mother who converted to Judaism and a father who survived the atrocities of the Holocaust only to keep his past hidden from his children, unwilling or unable to discuss that dark chapter of his life.
Ruby is comfortable with her role in the family until a series of catastrophic events cause her to question everything she thought she knew and her place both within the microcosm of her family and on the larger stage of human existence.
The title, The Cure for Grief, describes the difficult road Ruby traverses in dealing with strong feelings of loss, anger, and disbelief at the situations and circumstances she has no choice but to endure. While Ruby’s journey begins with a quest to find a treatment for what ails her, she discovers along the way that while there is no definitive cure for grief, ultimately she holds the key to unlocking her emotions and learning to move forward.