RUBIES AND OTHER GEMS is the story of a modern woman, Lily Manning, who struggles to balance being a wife, mother and finding time for herself. It's never easy with two rebellious teenagers and a laid back husband who leaves all the difficult parenting to her. What she wouldn't do for a few moments of peace and quiet to herself. Through the power of her grandmother's ruby jewelry, Lily unwittingly has her wish granted when she is transported back in time to a simpler life. It's all a beautiful dream for Lily, one that she cherishes as her "me" time. When she wakes up from her dream, she has no idea that she has actually time traveled and that's when the trouble begins. The next time her life sets her nerves on edge, Lily grabs her grandmother's rubies and is once again transported back to the same time frame, but with a twist. She seeks out the sexy Daniel that she had met her first time back and indulges in every woman's fantasy enjoying an afternoon of passion. This one decision sets Lily on her own path of self-discovery.
I found the character of Lily believable. What woman today doesn't struggle with balancing work, home life, demanding teenagers and her own needs? However, I struggled to understand some of Lily's decisions especially concerning her husband's reaction to her infidelity. Yes, she felt guilty about her indiscretion and was trying to right a wrong, but she let herself become such a doormat to her husband's whims. After awhile it was too much and I found her behavior annoying instead of sympathetic. Dealing with a rebellious teenager is tough and Lily suffers through all the abusive behavior her daughter throws at her, all without the support of her husband Sam. When she tries to reign in Molly, Sam undermines her authority again and that sets another disaster in motion. Will Sam ever realize that his own "good guy" parenting is part of the marital problems he has with his wife?
All and all, RUBIES AND OTHER GEMS is an enjoyable read of a modern woman's struggles to find out what she really wants in life. Ms. DeBacco throws one final twist in at the end bringing this story to a "good-feel" ending.