Saturday, April 11, 2015

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

1962.  In a tiny village off the Italian coast, Pasquale Tursi has just spotted one of the most beautiful women he’s ever seen.  As her boat approaches his woefully small inn along the rocky coast, he assumes she is there by mistake.  But Dee Moray, an American actress with a secret, is there to hide.  And there to wait.

Halfway around the world in present day Los Angeles, Claire Silver is one bad pitch meeting away from quitting her “illustrious” job with famed producer Michael Deane.  At the end of one more particularly exhausting day, she meets an old man with an accent, holding a decades old business card from Deane, ready to call in a favor.

Beautiful Ruins glides between narrator and time to weave together a story of lost love, sorrow, and hope, with a bit of old Hollywood mixed in for good measure.  Each character and setting is unique, with stories that connect in really interesting (and at times, heartbreaking, ways).  The emotions are vivid and varied - Walter does a great job connecting vignettes that span time and place to create a really engaging story.  Perfect if you are looking for a book that will take you on a journey.

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