Fiction Review: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

For sale now: Beautiful Ruins: A Novel

****4/5 starsJess Walter - Beautiful Ruins

On a remote stretch of Italian coastline in 1962, a beautiful dreamer and a beautiful actress meet by accident, and become the center of a story weaving around an interconnected series of  characters looking for a path to redemption– both toward and away from what they might deserve.

Recommended readers:

  • If you like a little bit of real historical figures thrown in with fictional characters…
  • If you suspect life is a journey and the answers may not come in the beginning…
  • If you have a penchant for old Hollywood, this book is for you.

Here’s my Rankings:

  • 4/5 for characters
  • 4/5 for plot
  • 4/5 overall


I picked this up because at first glance it looked like a good girly summer read, but it is much more. I love when an author effectively warps the story’s chronology in order to reveal just what they want to reveal, and Walters does it beautifully in this novel.  There are so many different characters involved, with just a little something for everybody: romance, redemption, tragedy, humor, and more.

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