Beautiful Ruins

Continuing with my book reviews, here’s my next pick…

Beautiful Ruins, a New York Times Bestseller, immediately caught my eye (I was judging a book by its cover, literally.) But who can blame me with that magnificent photo of the Italian coastline. I figured this was something I would be interested in as I have a slight obsession with Italy. This was the first novel I’ve read by Jess Walter, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I must say I really enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to reading a few more of his books. Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962…and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. This book has romance, drama, a beautiful setting, and tells a great story.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (synopsis from Goodreads)

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.

Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Well, there you have it…so, pickup a copy of Beautiful Ruins or download it to your e-reader, and enjoy this great story.

Have you read any good books lately?  I love suggestions!

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39 thoughts on “Beautiful Ruins

  1. I don’t read, but from the sound of the description, I can see how it made it to the NY Times best seller list. Sounds like it’s a captivating read.

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  2. I love to read books that span generations and I always hate for them to end! I just paused in the middle of my comment and downloaded it on my Kindle. I know what I’m going to be doing on this rainy afternoon once my work is done. 🙂

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  3. You are right, that cover is beautiful and it would draw me to read this for sure. It does sound like a really good read and something I should put on my list. It has been awhile since I have read a good book.

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  4. Beautiful Ruins looks fascinating, like a great read as I do judge books by their covers. I would love to read a story that takes place in Italy since I am so in love with that country.

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  5. I love reading so much & Beautiful Ruins looks like a great read for a weekend. My husband would love it being a love affair story filled with romance & drama. Would love to grab a copy for sure.

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