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The Ruins of Us: Book summary and reviews of The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen

The Ruins of Us

A Novel

by Keija Parssinen

The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen X
The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Saudi-born author Keija Parssinen's stunning debut offers the intricate, emotionally resonant story of an American expatriate who discovers that her husband, a Saudi billionaire, has taken a second bride - an emotionally turbulent revelation that blinds them both to their teenaged son's ominous first steps down the road of radicalization. Readers of The Septembers of Shiraz will be captivated by Parssinen's story of love and betrayal, fundamentalism, family and country in the Middle East. Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead, hails Parssinen's characters as "richly conceived, and her evocative petrol universe of wealth, privilege, and intrigue is unforgettable," characterizing The Ruins of Us as having "powerful storytelling that is refreshing and entertaining."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"A fine debut that uses its knowledge of both Saudi Arabia and psychology to transcend some overly schematic character arrangements." - Kirkus Reviews

"Parssinen's gripping, well-crafted debut tracks the awakening of a Saudi Arabian family to the dangers that lurk within." - Publishers Weekly

"Parssinen carries the reader... in the grip of a story that is both entertaining and wise... The debut of an enormously talented writer who is unafraid to lead us on the greatest adventure of all - into the wilds of the human heart." - Lise Saffran, author of Juno's Daughters

"The Ruins of Us is an arresting story of family and country. Parssinen's characters are richly conceived and her evocative petrol universe of wealth, privilege, and intrigue is unforgettable. Powerful storytelling that is refreshing and entertaining." - Anthony Swofford, author of Jarhead

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Author Information

Keija Parssinen

Keija Parssinen was born in Saudi Arabia and lived there for twelve years as a third-generation expatriate. She earned a degree in English literature from Princeton University and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where she held a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching-Writing Fellowship. For The Ruins of Us, her first novel, she received a Michener-Copernicus Award. She lives with her husband on the edge of a quarry in Missouri. You can visit her website at www.keijaparssinen.com.

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