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Castles & Ruins: Unraveling Family Mysteries and Literary Legacy in the Irish Countryside
     by Rue Matthiessen
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Praise for Castles & Ruins:

"Rue Matthiessen’s memoir is unforgettable, a true testament to human will and the healing nature of understanding and owning one’s truth, even while wishing that things might have been different."

     --Story Circle Network

“Matthiessen’s powerful storytelling vividly portrays her childhood and coming-of-age years…. thought-provoking and moving.”

     --Edith Wairimu, Readers’ Favorite

“Rue Matthiessen's heartfelt memoir, Castles & Ruins is, in essence, configured like a Celtic cross.... we see how the figure of the circle is at the very center of Matthiessen’s being. Celtic tradition calls for both mourning and celebrating at death. Precisely the emotions and the rituals that Rue Matthiessen gives the reader in this complex, deeply felt work.”

     --Lou Ann Walker, The East Hampton Star

"Castles & Ruins is inspired by a summer Rue Matthiessen spent in Galway with her husband and son, when she returned to the place of one of her most idyllic childhood memories, hoping to recapture the magic with her own child. As soon she arrives back in Ireland, trying to search out the area where she spent a summer with her parents (writers Peter Matthiessen and Deborah Love), she finds that it’s much more than a vacation with an end point, it is a trove of memories—a Pandora’s box. Rue’s feelings about having lost her mother rise to the surface afresh, as well as memories of her moody, intense father, who was just then on the cusp of a major literary career. The sixties, and her parents’ passionate, always crumbling marriage become vivid, like a film reel before her eyes. But will she be able to rediscover the castle of her childhood memories? Or will she find only ruins?"

     --Mom Egg Review

Castles & Ruins is a masterpiece, a must-read for anyone who sees beauty in the broken, finds solace in the unraveled, and believes that stories, like ancient stones, hold the power to illuminate the paths of the present.”

     --Midnights Book Tours

“Prepare to be transported through the vibrant landscapes of Ireland as Rue Matthiessen unravels a captivating tale in her memoir, Castles & Ruins. This enchanting narrative goes beyond the ordinary, immersing readers in a world where the past and present converge in a lyrical dance of memories, familial bonds, and the enduring legacy of literary brilliance.”

     --Twins Reading Books

Book Description:

Decades after spending a summer in the Irish countryside with her parents—author Deborah Love and National Book Award winner Peter Matthiessen—Rue takes her young family back to Ireland to revisit locales from that season in the sixties. As a guide, she has her mother's poetic book, Annaghkeen, named for the castle that overlooked their home in Galway.

What begins as a simple, nostalgic trip quickly becomes something far more complex. As Rue approaches Annaghkeen Castle and digs deeper into her parents’ literary legacy, a trove of memories is unearthed, forcing her to reckon with a childhood fraught with the stormy energy of two brilliant parents often at odds with each other and their children.

Both a rich and informative travelogue and a profoundly emotional memoir, Castles & Ruins celebrates the triumph of creative success while frankly appraising the often-terrible costs a family must pay for it.

Author Bio:

Rue Matthiessen is based on the East End of Long Island and in New York City. At Bard College she majored in literature, and afterwards was a journalist for The East Hampton Star. She had her own photography studio in Los Angeles for six years. Her essays and short fiction have been published in numerous literary journals. Her book, Buttonwood Cottage, about renovating a house in the Caribbean, is available on Amazon. She is currently at work on a novel, Julia with Closed Eyes. Recently, Rue was featured in the Bridgehampton Museum’s Distinguished Lecture Series and other speaking engagements. See more at

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Publication date: Feb. 20, 2024

U.S. Distribution: Ingram

Hardcover:     978-1-957607-26-9          $29.95

Paperback:      978-1-957607-25-2          $19.95

eBook:              978-1-957607-27-6          $9.99

Publicist: Emily Keough, MindBuck Media

Latah Books contact:

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