We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

‘I was completely transported by The Ruins. Phoebe Wynne has evocatively rendered a beautiful, doomed French chateau while creating immersive, almost dream-like atmospherics. I loved this novel’ SARAH PEARSE, bestselling author of The Sanatorium

Amidst the glamour of the French Riviera lies the crumbling façade of Chateau de Sètes, a small slice of France still held by the British aristocracy. But this long since abandoned chateau is now up for sale, and two people are desperate to get their hands on it despite its terrible history.

Summer, 1985: Ruby has stayed at the chateau with her family every summer of her twelve years. It was her favourite place to be, away from the strictures of her formal childhood, but this year uninvited guests have descended, and everything is about to change…

As the intense August heat cloaks the chateau, the adults within start to lose sight of themselves. Old disputes are thrown back and forth, tempers rise, morals loosen, and darkness begins to creep around them all. Ruby and her two young friends soon discover it is best not to be seen or heard as the summer spirals down to one fateful night and an incident that can never be undone…

Summer, 2010: One of the three young girls, now grown and newly widowed, returns to the chateau, and in her fight to free herself from its grip, she uncovers what truly happened that long, dark summer.

With riveting psychological complexity, The Ruins captures the glittering allure of the Mediterranean, and the dark shadows that wait beneath the surface.

Reviews

I was completely transported by The Ruins. Phoebe Wynne has evocatively rendered a beautiful, doomed French chateau while creating immersive, almost dream-like atmospherics. I loved this novel
Sarah Pearse, bestselling author of THE SANATORIUM
Tense and atmospheric, The Ruins investigates trauma and memory with a knowing, meticulous hand. The Chateau des Sètes - in all its crumbling, sinister glory - will imprint on your psyche as if you, too, spent a fateful summer there years ago... but it's the young women who call it home that leave the most lasting impression. This is a book that understands the inherent dangers of girlhood, and one that believes wholeheartedly in the innate resilience, bravery, and compassion of teenage girls themselves
Emily Layden, author of ALL GIRLS
The French Riviera has never been more captivating or unsettling. A story rich with family tensions and a chateau that serves as a gilded cage. The Ruins is both beautifully written and haunting at its core. Another stunning novel from Phoebe Wynne
Shea Ernshaw, the New York Times bestselling author of A HISTORY OF WILD PLACES and THE WICKED DEEP