The Ruins of Us and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
The Ruins of Us has been added to your Basket
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book is eligible for free delivery anywhere in the UK. Your order will be picked, packed and dispatched by Amazon. Buy with confidence!
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Ruins of Us Paperback – 7 Jun 2012


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 7 Jun 2012
£7.99
£0.28 £0.01
£7.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders with at least £10 of books. Only 3 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

The Ruins of Us + City Of Veils + The Consequences of Love
Price For All Three: £26.96

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571282180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571282180
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'An intelligent, complex story of interfaith marriage...a book that balances nail-biting tension with lyrical intent.' Guardian

'Having been brought up in Saudi Arabia, [Parssinen] knows the background and writes boldly and unsentimentally of a family's predicament at the edge of cultural fault lines.' -- Sunday Times

'A compelling debut about the heartbreak that shakes a family when an American woman discovers her Saudi husband has taken a second wife.' -- Marie Claire

'Keija Parssinen evokes the landscape of Saudia Arabia with a deftness, precision and lucidity which make for an utterly absorbing read. Turning the same clear-eyed, unflinching gaze on her characters she captures, too, the nuances of their love and despair, their faiths and betrayals, the vagaries of the human heart. The Ruins of Us is an extremely assured and impressive debut.' -- Lucy Caldwell, author of The Meeting Point

'The Ruins of Us is a stunning debut novel--a love story that spans continents. Writing with kindness and longing about Saudi Arabia and Sugar Land, Texas, Parssinen teaches us that while cultural differences run deep, when it comes to matters of the heart, we are all the same. I was dazzled by this book.' -- Amanda Eyre Ward, author of Close Your Eyes

'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

'The author's expat experiences of Saudi Arabia are evident in an intelligent, complex story of interfaith marriage ... the plot swerves into darkness with hostile, vulnerable Faisal's increasing involvement with militant rebels taking centre stage in a book that balances nail-biting tension with lyrical intent.' --Guardian

Book Description

The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen is a sweeping debut novel of love and betrayal, about a Saudi billionaire and the turmoil that rocks his family after his American wife discovers that he has taken a second bride.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sam on 21 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
The Ruins of Us hits the ground running. Rosalie, an American woman married to a Saudi man, Abdullah, is shopping for a gift for her daughter when the shop-keeper casually asks if she enjoyed the anniversary gift her husband bought recently. Knowing that the gift was not for her, it doesn't take Rosalie long to find out that her husband has secretly taken a second wife, Isra. The after-shocks of this revelation are the real meat of the story as everyone in the family is affected. Rosalie must decide what to do whilst Abdullah hides behind the shield of tradition. Their daughter feels oppressed by the contradiction between her upbringing and the rigid rules for Saudi women but it is their son, Faisal, who is holding a deep resentment against his mother and her American-ness. As he becomes further drawn into extremist activity, events start to spin out of control.

The Ruins of Us is an impressive novel that straddled several genres comfortably. Different chapters in the book are told from the different perspectives of each of the main characters and Parssinen managed to make each voice distinct. I was particularly drawn to the story of Faisal as he became radicalised and this remained undetected by his family. Parssinen did a fantastic job of showing how bored, wealthy young men are often easy targets for extremists- in the news here it's not unusual to hear of young men from moderate, successful families ending up in terrorist training camps abroad, and I felt that this part of the story showed real insight. Faisal's guilt at being half-American was easily manipulated and used against him as he was desperate to become more Saudi and more Muslim.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. A. Garrett on 4 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure how I would re-act to this novel but it was an amazing insight into Saudi Arabian culture from an author who had first hand knowledge. The fact that Keija Parssinen had experienced the two different cultures of both America and Saudi Arabia meant that we were treated to a genuine appraisal of how different life is in the Middle East. The question is whether an American woman who goes to live in Saudi Arabia can adapt to her Saudi husband's lifestyle and whether their children will be affected by any difficulties that may arise between their parents, due to the different cultures? A brilliant first novel.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
A family novel which takes an unexpected turn towards the end, 'The Ruins of Us' is set in Saudi Arabia and begins with the American wife of a wealthy Saudi discovering her husband has secretly married a second wife. The novel focuses on the aftermath of this act of betrayal, particularly the effect on the couple's disaffected teenage son, and on their relationship with their old university friend, an American expatriate working for their company. For the most part it is a domestic saga, but in the last quarter things become a bit more dramatic and interesting. It touches on topics of inter-faith marriage and the cultural difference between America and the strict religious regime of Saudi Arabia, and on the clash between modernity and tradition in the relatively recently wealthy Arab nation. However I felt the novel only really scratched the surface of these issues, preferring to show more of the personal and emotional feelings of the characters. In some ways the author missed a few opportunities to get really under the skin of some of the topics addressed.

It is a good idea for a story, mostly well executed, with a decent plot and the characters are believable although not entirely loveable. It does lack a bit of grit and emotional punch, although the finale is more powerful than the first three quarters lead you to believe. It is interesting to read about life in modern Saudi Arabia, and the author does a good job of conjuring up the surroundings and the culture of that country. I have found few novels set in Saudi, and I liked that this one gave what I felt was a reasonably balanced view of life there. Despite the very restrictive society - which is clearly shown - the characters mostly love their home and want to remain there.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By dupressa on 8 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An insight into life for men and women in Saudi Arabia and the pressures put onto families from mixed cultures. It showed how easily young people could be influenced to perform extreme acts as well as the problems faced by the son of getting out of the situation he put himself into. Also the lack of communication between the members of the family was highlighted.
A very topical book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beautiful and thought provoking, moving and inspiring. Captures how life is complicated, hard, tough, rough and ugly but all the while beautiful and priceless. Religion just another name for love, as we all, deep down, know it to be.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Andrea Roberts on 5 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting read .offering different ways in which our cultures are so diverse and how tolerance can give us an insight of how to recognise and respect each others cultures in it's diversity.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Look for similar items by category


Feedback