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Carolyn SeeThis book isn't for everyone, but I don't want to know the people it isn't for. This is for people with broken homes and smashed hearts and extraordinary bravery and gallantry and imagination. This novel is for those who love their families with a terrible love and prize filial piety above all things, even though that family -- and it's bound to be overextended -- appears bound straight for Hell in several different handbaskets. It's about practicing courage and manners and tradition even as Dad introduces his 17th girlfriend. Yes, it's about self-destruction, but it's really about love -- the real thing -- about how we get it and how we keep it. I'm crazy about The Ruins of California. It gives me hope for the whole human race.
— The Washington Post