The Ruins of Us

by Keija Parssinen (Faber & Faber) ISBN 970571282180

 

Rosalie is a Texan who was brought up in Saudi Arabia. She met and fell in love with Abdullah in the United States and then went back with him to Saudi Arabia where they married, had two children, and lived a wealthy and happy life for twenty five years.

 

That is until everything unravels. Abdullah takes a second wife and keeps it a secret for two years until a jeweller unwittingly lets the proverbial cat out of the bag.

 

At the same time, their confused sixteen-year-old son is being influenced by his radical best friend. He is also attending lectures with a sheikh who wants to see all unbelievers purged from Saudi Arabia.

 

This leads to a situation where everyone in the family is forced to examine their emotions, attachments, and needs, and make decisions about their future.

 

This is an interesting well-written novel with vivid descriptions and metaphors.

 

Amanda Blankfield

4/5

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