Liz's Reviews > The Ruins of Us

The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen
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Feb 16, 12

Read from February 14 to 16, 2012

I chose this book because its main character is an expat living in Saudi Arabia. I am always interested in reading stories involving people who have lived overseas. We had good friends who worked for ARAMCO and so I know a little of what life is like in the expat compounds there. Keija Parssinen took her own experiences living in such a compound and novelized the experience. The plot was created with Rosalie, from Texas, as the wife of a very rich Saudi businessman she met while working in a bar in Texas. Rosalie and Abdullah were both students. Rosalie had returned to the states from the ARAMCO life for college and the idea of getting out of Texas appealed to her. She wanted to see the world. Sound familiar? She had a good life with two children until things starting wearing thin...an angry teenage son, an ambitious daughter who rebels at school and an absent husband. The story is the usual and then again it isn't. I thought the author was needlessly wordy with her descriptions of sunsets, Rosalie showering, reflecting on what it is like not to live in one's own country. Ms. Parssinen didn't take it to the higher plane of an objective narration, interpretation of the cultural divide and the anger that comes from those cultural wars. I would have liked to be educated a bit more in that area. It would make a good film though!
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