Monday, May 11, 2009

Giveaway: The Ruins of California by Martha Sherrill

For the Ruin family in 1970s California, as described by the precocious young Inez, life in complex. Her father, Paul, is self-obsessed, intrusive, and brilliant. He's also twice divorced, leaving Inez to bounce between two worlds, embracing neither - that of Paul's bohemian life in San Francisco and the more sedate world of her mother, Connie, who plays tennis and attends est seminars in the suburbs. As Inez progresses through high school we are witness to a remarkable family saga that renders a strange and fascinating slice of America in transition - one like the Ruins of California themselves, at once bold and innocent, creative and chaotic, obsessed and liberating.

More than anything I found this to be a book about coming of age and discovering who you are in regards to everyone else in your life, in comparison to your family and friends and all of your surroundings. Inez struggles because she has the forces between two worlds trying to determine who she is and what she is. This is the story of her figuring it out - who is she? How does she do that?

For a chance to win this book comment with the following:
- Your name
- Your email so I can contact you if you won
- A short memory about your own coming of age. What stood in the way? How did you figure out who you were? Or do you still not know?

If you fail to provide this information you will not be entered for the drawing.

For a second chance to win, blog about this giveaway and this blog! Leave a link along with your email address for another chance to be entered.

Entries must be in by Monday May 18th at 12:30AM to be counted!


  1. My name is Eliza B., and here's my e-mail:

    Actually... I still don't really know who I am. I'm still discovering new things in me (well, I guess everyone does, everyday). I think I know much about me, like what kind of personality I have, how I react to different situations, and all that... But does that mean that I know who I am? I don't feel it that way, I still feel like I'm searching for myself, and I believe most teenagers feel the same as me... :)
    That seems a very interesting book, count me in!

  2. My coming of age was when I got married too young at the age of 18. It really make me grow up and realize that I had make a BIG mistake! I guess it was all a part of growing up and it eventually made me a better person even if I didn't realize it at the time. I am remarried now to a wonderful man and much more mature!

  3. I am 18 years old and am still very dazed and confused about who i am and what i want out of my life. Every day i learn new lessons and also get to know some new things in me. My parents and my sisters are all so aware of themselves and it is kinda unnerving to not know who you really are. I have just started on the road to self-discovery.



  4. my name is Jennifer my email is
    My coming of age was when I turned 18 and had my first child, you grow up really fast but now I am 42 and my daughter is my best friend, she is 24 and getting married this october.

  5. My name is Oona, I'd love to win this book. A memory of my late teens is hitch-hiking with a friend 300 miles to see a boyfriend. I was fearless, but I really didn't know myself at all.
    Thanks! foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

  6. Thanks for the opportunity to win a good read. I think that dropping out of high school and traveling across the country with members of the Rainbow Family really led me to the woman I am becoming. Thanks again!

  7. Hi - I'm Deborah, and my email is asthenight at gmail dot com.

    I think I started "coming of age" and learning who I was in relation to the larger world when I left my church at the age of 16. Making that change made me examine my positions and beliefs and, although it took a long time, I learned that my truths were often very different than what the church had taught me.

  8. Hello, my name is Sylvie. Taking a job at the other end of the country, away from my family and friends, at the age of 19 really helped me figure out who I really was and where I wanted to go. I had a lot of time on my own during these few months and did a lot of thinking. There was no choice but to grow up when I was all on my own.
    (maevy21@hotmail dot com)

  9. my name is priscila. i did not know who i was until a year ago. i got married, left home, left mexico and began to travel with my husband. i was 22 and he was 26. i thought i was ready to be a wife, and i sort of struggled at first because i had no idea what was expected of me. it did not come naturally, but we have been now married for three years and he is GREAT i love him so much. i had my daughter 14 months ago and that is when i knew what i was, who i was and who i wanted to be. i love being a stay at home mom and taking care of my daughter has given me a sense in life, my husband and i have grown so much closer even though i thought we would grow apart. i am happy to finally know who i am at the age of 25. i hope i do not lose myself.

  10. Sounds like a great book! my name's Trish, and email is
    I'm 38 years old, and I feel that I am just now finding out, or on the path to finding, my real self!

  11. My name's Heather. I guess I always had a good feel for who I was, and what was right for me. As a teen I was the good kid who hung out with the bad crowd (or sometimes I was the bad kid in the good crowd-- I never quite fit in anywhere), but I never got involved in their bad pursuits. I could hang out with unsavory people, but stay out of trouble myself. I knew who I was, and I didn't worry about "fitting in". Quite to the contrary, I relished my differences!

    I blogged it:

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  12. My name is Becky (turtlebs at yahoo dot com)
    My coming of age is when my father died when I was 17. I learned very quickly that life can be shattered in an instance.

  13. My name is Crystal P
    crystalmarieporter at gmail dot com

    I question whether we even have a coming of age... everything in life is an experience to grow from and we do indeed learn new things every day. I mean, I'm going on 30 with 2 kids and still have life shattering moments that causes me to question everything I think I know. I just keep my chin and hope I learn what I'm meant to learn and move on to the next moment.

  14. Name's Kaitlyn.

    I definitely have not 'come of age' yet, but I think I'm starting too. I think I'm slowly figuring out what I want to do with my life, and it makes me really happy and hopeful to think about what I can give to this world. And that's really it, everything else will fall into place, as I see it.