Book Review: Beautiful Ruins

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 on 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.

My Thoughts: 
I enjoyed this book a lot. For the most part I was able to follow it pretty easily...but the plot does jump back and forth a lot between different characters and different time-frames. By the end, there were an awful lot of characters to keep track of, some of which were really minor characters that I didn't really care to know how their story ended. However, the main love story was captivating and I was definitely very into the whole love triangle story and how everything ended up unfolding in the end. This wasn't the best book I ever read, but I did enjoy it!


  1. Thanks for the honest review.

  2. Good to know! I'm always looking for a new fun read!


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