By Leanna Ellis
B&H Publishing Group
One of my all-time loved musicals is The Wizard of Oz. When I realized that Ruby’s Slippers was a takeoff from this story, I was thrilled. While The Wizard of Oz is great fun, however, Ruby’s Slippers by Leanna Ellis is a delightful, heartwarming story—in many ways, more wonderful and fulfilling than the original story!
Dorothy and Abby lived in Kansas with their mother; their father had left them when Dorothy was four, but their mother would never talk about what happened. Both Abby and Dorothy grew up wondering, what they might have done, to cause their father to leave them.
Even after their mother died, Dorothy stayed there at the farm. She was a teacher but also kept the farm going with lots of hard work.
Abby had left long ago to fulfill her dream of becoming an actress, but as she grew older and parts became harder to find, she begged Dorothy to sell the farm so that she could have her share of their inheritance. Dorothy always opposed this, of course, wanting to keep the farm as her home. It had caused problems between the two sisters, for Dorothy didn’t have the money to buy out her sister’s share.
Until the tornado came...
In an instant, all the farm, buildings and animals were gone! Dorothy had also been caught in the tornado and was left in a coma.
When she awakened, she’s in a rest home for the elderly in California. Abby had her moved there so she could continue to work. Dorothy also learns that Abby had been given legal responsibility and the farmland had been placed up for sale at an auction in the near future!
She is also told that her father had visited her and had left a box for her. The box contained a pair of ruby slippers. Dorothy knew her grandmother had worked on the set of the original show starring Judy Garland, but she had never heard about the shoes. Were they from the original show? And why did her father have the shoes, only to leave them here for her? She could only assume that they had been her grandmother's, and so when she spoke of them she talked about Ruby’s Slippers...
Oh yes, Dorothy is led to follow a yellow-brick road—she must somehow find her father, find out about the slippers, and hopefully figure out how to get money to prevent the farm from being sold! And, indeed, she finds friends along the way, who decide to join her as she travels!
Dorothy did indeed ultimately find that there is “no place like home”—but this story takes a detour like you’d not have imagined—and theft and danger is around every turn in the road!
Ellis has done a fantastic job in having an underlying parallel to the original story, while taking her story into an entirely different genre. Kudos to her for excellent writing and providing an adventure that brings this great storyline up-to-date in a manner that will speak to all ages! Only in Ruby’s Slippers by Leanna Ellis, it might surprise you to discover that the one who provides the magical love and guidance previously bestowed by Glinda, the Good Witch...Could be the Almighty God!
Christian fiction at its finest!
G. A. Bixler