Beautiful Ruins | Book Review

Author, Jess Walter
Paperback, 337 pages
Published, April 2, 2013
Publisher, Harper Perennial

Description from Goodreads:
From the moment it opens—on a rocky patch of Italian coastline, circa 1962, when a daydreaming young innkeeper looks out over the water and spies a mysterious woman approaching him on a boat—Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, to the back lots of contemporary Hollywood, Beautiful Ruins is gloriously inventive and constantly surprising—a story of flawed yet fascinating people navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.

Description from Amazon:
The acclaimed, award-winning author of the national bestseller The Financial Lives of the Poets returns with his funniest, most romantic, and most purely enjoyable novel yet. Hailed by critics and loved by readers of literary and historical fiction, 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.

My Thoughts: I added the descriptions from two different places because I am not sure that either of them really give you an idea of what takes place in this book.  There are so many things happening and so many characters that it is hard to narrow it down. It all starts in the 1960's in Italy in a small, remote village hotel.  It takes you back and forth between the 60's and present day.  It also gives you a few chapters of seeing what happens to the main characters during the 70's, 80's, and 90's to explain where they ended up. I am a huge lover of Historical Fiction and I love the fact that it had history and present day in order to get some closure for the events that happened in the 60's.  I did feel that the complete back stories of the smaller characters in present day was a little irrelevant.  They weren't the characters that I was dying to find out about. Overall, I really liked the book.  I didn't love it.  I did love the characters of Dee and Pasquale though and I really enjoyed the ending to their story.


  1. My dad lent me his copy of the book, so I have it sitting here, waiting for me to read. I'm hopeful that it's one I'll really enjoy!

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