More than two decades after moving to Saudi Arabia and marrying Abdullah Baylani, Rosalie learns that her husband has taken a second wife, beautiful Palestinian Isra. The discovery plunges the powerful family into chaos as Rosalie grapples with leaving Saudi Arabia, her life, and her family behind. Driven by anger and heartache, she plots her departure, soliciting fellow American and Abdullah's best friend, lonely divorc Dan Coleman, to help her. Meanwhile, Abdullah and Rosalie's consuming personal entanglements blind them to the crisis approaching their sixteen-year-old son Faisal, whose deepening resentment towards their lifestyle has led to his growing involvement with a controversial Sheikh. When Faisal makes an ill-fated choice that could destroy everything his embattled 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. ForThe Ruins of Us, her first novel, she received a Michener-Copernicus award. She lives with her husband in Missouri.