Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins
By Jess Walter
Harper, 2012, 337 pgs. Fiction

Pasquale Tursi is determined to turn his newly inherited hotel, the only hotel in his tiny Italian coastal village, into a destination spot for wealthy Americans. All he needs is a little bit of beach and a tennis court to make the Hotel Adequate View start making a profit. One morning, as he’s waist deep off the shoreline creating a breaker for his proposed beach, a beautiful American actress arrives and he is suddenly questioning both his past and his desired future. Decades later, a jaded movie producer, a screenwriter desperate for his first break, a disillusioned production assistant, and a has-been rock star will each play a role in the conclusion of Pasquale’s search for a love that was never given a chance.

This is another addition to a growing number of books which tell their stories by skipping around in time, providing a piece of the puzzle here, and a piece of the puzzle there. For this story the technique works very well and the author has crafted a beautiful novel of greed and selfishness along with love, forgiveness, and the beauty that can blossom from broken hearts and shattered dreams.


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