Ruby Holler ISBN: 9780747556176
Published by Bloomsbury, 2002
The twins, Florida (a girl) and Dallas (a boy), have lived in the Boxton Creek Home for Children for all their 13 years, except for times when they've been given foster parents - terrible foster parents who have locked them in rat-filled cellars, or whose children have been horrid to them.The twins are trouble, and the people who run the home, a selfish pair called Mr and Mrs Trepid, try holding them down with dozens of rules. When an elderly couple, Sairey and Tiller, take them home to Ruby Holler, an idyllic log house in a beautiful valley, they are highly suspicious. The Moreys are incredibly patient, and even when things get broken or the children can't do anything right, they are still well fed, have a comfortable bed, and are paid for the work they do. They plan to run away as soon as they have enough money saved. At the same time, Tiller and Sairey are having their own problems. Empty-nest-syndrome hit them hard when their four children left home, and there are too many choices now, too many possibilities. They each plan a separate trip, Sairey to take Dallas off to an island to search for a special bird, and Tiller to take Florida on a boat trip down river. Love conquers all in the end, and these larger-than-life Dickension characters all learn much about themselves and each other. Warm, jolly escapism - and the 'baddies' get their comeuppance.