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The Ruins of Us

Keija Parssinen

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.

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‘An intelligent, complex story of interfaith marriage. . . . That balances nail-biting tension with lyrical intent.’ Guardian

More than two decades after moving to Saudi Arabia from America and marrying Abdullah Baylani, Rosalie learns that her husband has married a second wife. The discovery plunges the powerful family into chaos as Rosalie grapples with leaving Saudi Arabia, her life and her family behind.

Abdullah and Rosalie’s consuming personal entanglements also blind them to the crisis approaching their sixteen-year-old son Faisal, whose deepening resentment towards their lifestyle has led to his involvement with a controversial sheikh. When Faisal makes a choice that could destroy everything his family holds dear, all must confront difficult truths as they fight to preserve what remains of their love.


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 and Writing fellowship. For The Ruins of Us, her first novel, she received…

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