The Ruins of Us...Review

About the book:
More than two decades after moving to Saudi Arabia and marrying powerful Abdullah Baylani, American-born Rosalie learns that her husband has taken a second wife. That discovery plunges their family into chaos as Rosalie grapples with leaving Saudi Arabia, her life, and her family behind. Meanwhile, Abdullah and Rosalie's consuming personal entanglements blind them to the crisis approaching their sixteen-year-old son, Faisal, whose deepening resentment toward their lifestyle has led to his involvement with a controversial sheikh. When Faisal makes a choice that could destroy everything his embattled family holds dear, all must confront difficult truths as they fight to preserve what remains of their world.

The Ruins of Us is a timely story about intolerance, family, and the injustices we endure for love that heralds the arrival of an extraordinary new voice in contemporary fiction.

Compelling, but not particularly happy.  After living in Saudi Arabia with her Arabian husband, American-born Rosalie learns that Abdullah has taken a second, younger wife.  While permitted by his religion, Rosalie sees it as a betrayal to her marriage vows.  As she is trying to come to terms with her life and what she wants to do, they discover that their son is also having troubles.

This was just not a book I could get into.  I didn't like these characters.  I couldn't connect to them or relate to them.   The book itself is beautifully written with rich descriptions that bring the feel and taste of Saudi Arabia through the pages.  I do think it would provide great discussion for a book group.  But, it just wasn't for me. My review seems to be in the minority though and you can find other, more positive reviews through the links below.

Thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to review this book.  You can learn more about  Keiha Parssinen here. You can purchase your own copy here. You can see other more positive reviews and tour stops here.

Tuesday, January 17th: Book Hooked Blog
Wednesday, January 18th: Take Me Away
Thursday, January 19th: Broken Teepee
Friday, January 20th: Bibliosue
Monday, January 23rd: Book Club Classics!
Tuesday, January 24th: Wandering Thoughts of a Scientific Housewife
Thursday, January 26th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, January 31st: Col Reads
Wednesday, February 1st: The House of the Seven Tails
Thursday, February 2nd: Raging Bibliomania
Monday, February 6th: Library of Clean Reads
Tuesday, February 7th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, February 8th: 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews

Read 2/12

* *
2/5 Stars


  1. I agree with you that most of the characters in this book were not particularly likeable. While I felt for Rosalie, I didn't really like her, per se, and I felt that Abdullah was pretty selfish and self absorbed. I do appreciate your honest and thoughtful review though, and was glad to have read your opinion. Thanks!

  2. This book does sound very interesting and I do appreciate your insight into the characters and why you didn't like them. That makes me want to read it even more! I'm intrigued by this culture and I think I'd like to give this one a try. I'm sorry it didn't work for you, but again, I appreciate your honesty.

  3. Sorry it didn't work for you. I can't imagine why Rosalie would consent to live in Saudi Arabia, but I still think I'd like the book.

  4. Not every book is a good fit for every reader ... though wouldn't life be simpler if it was?! :)

    Thanks for your honest review. We appreciate you being a part of the tour.


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