Before the Ruins: Book summary and reviews of Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling

Before the Ruins

by Victoria Gosling

Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling X
Before the Ruins by Victoria Gosling
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Book Summary

A gripping, multilayered debut in the tradition of Tana French and Donna Tartt about four friends, an empty manor, and a night that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

It's the summer of 1996 and school's out forever for Andy, her boyfriend Marcus, her best friend Peter, and Em. When Andy's alcoholic mother predicts the apocalype, the four teenagers decide to see out the end of the world at a deserted manor house, the site of a historic unsolved mystery. There they meet David--charming and unreliable, he seems to have appeared out of nowhere.

David presents an irresistible lure for both Andy and Peter and complicates the dynamics of their lifelong friendship. When the group learns that a diamond necklace, stolen fifty years ago, might still be somewhere on the manor grounds, the Game―half treasure hunt, half friendly deception―begins. But the Game becomes much bigger than the necklace, growing to encompass years of secrets, lies, and, ultimately, one terrible betrayal.

Meticulously plotted and gorgeously written, Before the Ruins is a page-turner of the highest order about the sealed-off places in our pasts and the parts of ourselves waiting to be retrieved from them.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[S]tellar...The gorgeous, poetic prose perfectly complements the suspenseful plot. Gosling is off to a terrific start." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The elements of mystery serve to provide narrative tension, but the real point here is Gosling's examination of the disappointment of modern living, the emptiness of adulthood, and the notion of the fake diamond necklace so many of us spend our lives searching for...Come for the missing person mystery, stay for the existential ennui." - Kirkus Reviews

"Engrossing, beguiling, and with an undertow of menace, Before the Ruins is a masterly debut from a richly talented author." - Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests

"Lush and razor-sharp, Before the Ruins is both deliciously gothic and completely contemporary. Every single page is absorbing and surprising." - Flynn Berry, author of Under the Harrow

"I don't know the last time I enjoyed a book this much. Unbelievably tense and incredibly smart, Victoria's Gosling's story about four friends playing a truly terrifying game of cat-and-mouse in a deserted manor house is the perfect menage a trois of superb plotting, haunting characters, and gorgeous, atmospheric prose. Tana French fans will devour this." - Aimee Molloy, author of The Perfect Mother

"Four disaffected teenagers, a deserted manor, an unlimited supply of drugs, and a cache of potentially explosive secrets. What could go right? Before the Ruins, Victoria Gosling's stunner of a debut novel, is rich with mystery and moral disorder. It put me in mind of Edward St. Aubyn and Donna Tart; dark, fierce, and totally addictive." - Valerie Martin, author of Property and Trespass

This information about Before the Ruins shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Victoria Gosling

Victoria Gosling grew up in Wiltshire, England and studied English Literature at Manchester University. She is the founder of The Reader Berlin, hosting salon nights in Berlin and writers' retreats in Greece and Italy. She also organizes The Berlin Writing Prize. Gosling is the author of Before the Ruins.

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