Because of personal circumstances, I have found it hard to read a book since September, so the fact that I read this novel in starts and stops probably colours my opinion. At first, Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters, seems to tell the tale of dying actress, Dee Moray, set in a small fishing village in Italy against the background of the fated 1960's filming of "Cleopatra".The characters of innkeeper Pasquale Tursi and producer Michael Deane fit with this narrative. But shortly into the book we are given a short chapter from an anonymous writer about the war and then another chapter about failed musician Pat Bender set in present day. The stories don't seem to have anything to do with the plotline but Walters does a masterful job at weaving characters and times together to form a complete story at the end of the book.
You Will Like This Book If:
- you like tales of old Hollywood glamour and dirt
- you like books set in Italy
- you like your novels told in nonlinear time
"What we want to do and what we must do are not the same...the smaller the space between your desire and what is right, the happier you will be."