From Coney Island sideshows to the brand-new Yankee Stadium, Diamond Ruby chronicles the extraordinary life and times of a girl who rises from utter poverty to the kind of renown only the Roaring Twenties can bestow. But her fame comes with a price, and Ruby must escape a deadly web of conspiracy and threats from Prohibition rumrunners, the Ku Klux Klan, and the gangster underworld.
Diamond Ruby “is the exciting tale of a forgotten piece of baseball’s heritage, a girl who could throw with the best of them. A real page-turner, based closely on a true story” (Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row).
Reading Group Guide
Set in New York City during the turbulent 1920s, Diamond Ruby chronicles the life of Ruby Thomas—the seventeen-year-old orphan-turned-baseball star— as she searches for ways to keep her two nieces alive after the death of her family and the abandonment by her brother. Ruby is smart, scrappy and stubborn, refusing to let war, disease, starvation or sexism keep her from feeding her nieces and living up to her Mother’s deathbed plea to make something of her life.
By chance, Ruby discovers her ungainly arms are the key to a unique talent: the ability to throw a baseball as hard as any pro ball player. Starting as a Coney Island slideshow attraction and ending up as the star of Brooklyn’s minor league baseball team, Ruby defies expectations and becomes a legend. Her fame comes at a price, however, as she must navigate her way alone through death threats, the Ku Klux Klan, prohibition rum-runners and murderous gamblers who will stop at nothing to get what they want. In a novel whose suspense see more