Columbia-based novelist Keija Parssinen’s first book, The Ruins of Us, was a Columbia One Read selection in 2013. The novel centered is around a crumbling marriage between an American expat and her Saudi billionaire husband. Parssinen’s new novel, The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, is set closer to home: it takes place in a small Texas refinery town that grows increasingly zealous in its attempts to control its population of teenage girls. The town’s paranoia builds toward an outbreak of mass hysteria and a modern-day witch trial. Parssinen spoke with KBIA about the research behind her new book; she began by comparing the Saudi Arabia of her first book with the Texas town she describes in her new novel.