If you were a '90s kid, then you might have been heavily influenced by your mother's V.C. Andrews books. Does the creepy and incestuous story of Flowers in the Attic ring a bell? Lifetime is now bringing to life the Ruby book series from the same famed author and the spoilers ahead of the four made-for-TV movies are a must if you need to remind yourself about what happens or just get familiar with the story ahead of time.
Warning: spoilers ahead for Ruby and the other books in the series.
What happens in the 'Ruby' book?
The first book in the series and the first Ruby Lifetime movie starts off with a girl named Ruby, who lives in the Louisiana bayou with her grandmother, a local healer who also has some secrets of her own. Upon her grandmother's death, Ruby learns that her birth father, who she had never known, lives in New Orleans and she sets out to find him.
When she does, she also finds out she has an identical twin sister. But this wouldn't be a V.C. Andrews novel if her twin sister wasn't also sort of evil. Ruby gets to know her sister, Giselle, her father, and her father's wife, Daphne, all while starting a new life at a private school and navigating her sister's boyfriend's interest in her.
As Giselle continues to torment her at home and at school, Ruby puts a voodoo curse on her. Soon after, Giselle is in a car accident, which paralyzes her from the waist down. Ruby, overcome with guilt, ends up blurting the truth of the voodoo curse to Giselle, who uses it against her to essentially make Ruby her servant from then on.
Still, at the end of the book, Ruby ends up starting a romance with Giselle's now ex-boyfriend, Beau.
'Pearl in the Mist' and 'All That Glitters' are the next movies and books in the series.
In Pearl in the Mist, Giselle and Ruby are sent to a girls' school in Baton Rouge, where Giselle continues to stir up trouble for Ruby. But, still riddled with guilt over Giselle's accident, Ruby continues to bear the brunt of her anger. Later in the book, the girls are sent home after hearing the news that their father has died.
Ruby and Giselle return to school, but later come back home during the winter holidays and learn Daphne is dating someone new. Giselle also reveals she has regained the ability to walk and, as Ruby spends the holidays with Beau, Giselle throws a wild party. As a result of the party, Giselle and Ruby are sent back to school. But after spending New Year's Eve with Beau, Ruby discovers she's pregnant.
Instead of getting an abortion, as Daphne tries to facilitate, Ruby runs back home to the bayou. There, she reconnects with Paul Tate, a boy she had grown up with. As teens, after falling in love, they had learned they were half-siblings through his father and Ruby's mother, who died giving birth to both Ruby and Giselle. Now, they're still close, but not romantically.
Ruby gives birth to a girl she names Pearl, with Paul by her side.
In All That Glitters, Paul and Ruby get married to pass Pearl off as his daughter, though no one else is aware that Paul and Ruby are half-siblings and the marriage is just for show. Giselle marries Beau to spite Ruby and later, while Ruby and Beau have an affair, Giselle contracts encephalitis from a mosquito and falls into a coma.
Ruby decides to switch places with her sister so she can be with Beau, and Giselle dies as Ruby. Later, Paul is too grief-stricken about losing Ruby to Beau that he drunkenly drowns himself in the swamp. Because everyone else still believes Ruby is dead, Paul's family tries to gain custody of Pearl.
In the end, Ruby convinces Paul's father to admit that he and Ruby's mother conceived Paul, revealing the truth to everyone else in town. Ruby gets to keep her baby and she and Beau are married. They end up having twin boys together and, for the most part, they live happily ever after despite the wild twists and turns of the book.
'Hidden Jewel' is about Ruby's daughter.
The book Hidden Jewel tells a new story from Ruby's daughter Pearl's perspective. Everything from the other three books comes to a head in this novel. As an adult, Ruby deals with tragedy when one of her twin sons dies and the other slips into a coma shortly after. Believing that she is to blame for everything she had done wrong in her life, Ruby leaves the family.
Pearl goes on a search for her mother and finally finds her at Paul's family home. Ruby reveals the nature of her relationship with Paul and admits her selfishness in thinking of her own needs while Paul loved both her and Pearl so much. She then performs a ritual wherein she burns a sketch she made of Paul.
Ruby then insists that he can rest peacefully and their family can finally move on. Shortly after, Ruby's son wakes from his coma.
Clearly, all four of the Ruby books being made into Lifetime movies are doozies. But if you've never read the books, chances are, the movies will be a lot easier to follow overall.