Danderma's Reviews > The Ruins of Us

The Ruins of Us by Keija Parssinen
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's review
Apr 05, 12

did not like it
Read in March, 2012

Ever since I read about this novel in one of the UK’s magazines I had wanted to read it. The potential of the story is alluring: An American lady who married the love of her life, a Saudi billionaire, and move with him to KSA to bring up their family, discovers after 27 years of marriage that he had taken up a second younger wife. Meanwhile the couples eldest son is sixteen and has been involved with a controversial religious man.

Now the writer has a great story to write about. What would a woman do in that situation, how would she react? What demands would she make? How would she deal with the competition? Maybe what drove the man to marry the 2nd woman and what drove the 2nd woman to steal the man? How the man is lost between the two women. How jealous the 2nd woman makes the 1st one for example. We have tons of local drama series dealing with the issue but never from an American first wife point of view, it would have been interesting to see what would an American feel and do about that.

But the chapters are long. The books repeats the same things over and over and over again. Sometimes I have skipped pages because there is just too much writing, too many thoughts in the characters heads revolving around the same conclusions. The couple’s son story line would have also been very good one too except in the very last chapters he does something that is supposed to be the climax of the story but its really hard to digest. For the love of god who would do such a thing!

The ending is quite disappointing too. If anything I would say the story, though it had amazing potential, turned out to be a tad silly and boring actually. That would be the point of view of mine if I was not an Arab and a Khaleeji reader.

Now as an Arab some things were insulting even though I am not really a sensitive reader. Someone should also explain the Quran better to the writer and possibly the meaning of some Arabic words used in the dialogue like the overuse of the word “ya” and erm, the “shit” word in Arabic.

In any case I don’t suppose I would be reading it again. I had a hard time finishing the book in the first place.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Andrea This book had so much potential. I agree with all of your observations, particularly the repetitiveness. I wanted to see more conflict at the initial revelation of the affair and less complacency and self reflection. Anyway, I put it down after 50 pages. It did not keep my attention.

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