by Jess Walter

Reviewer Rating:


Beautiful Ruins is a book with a plot not drastically different from many romance books and movies.  A man falls in love and at some point realizes the feelings are not mutual; the woman is in love with another man.  The book begins in Italy in 1962 and chronicles relationships that last until modern day.  What sets this book apart from many other boring and predictable stories of the romance genre is the writer’s ability to describe the setting and build the characters.  When he describes the scenes it is easy to imagine yourself there; he delves deeply into the characters revealing a complete picture of them through their thoughts and actions.  Although he introduces many characters throughout the book, he does a nice recap at the end where all details are given and any unresolved stories are finished.  Beautiful Ruins is a good escapist novel for someone who may have a few days when they would prefer not to have to think too hard.  Maybe take it to the beach next time you go, or read it on the plane if you ever plan to take a vacation to the Italian coast.

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