Italy with Beautiful Ruins

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“Every love is the same love, and it is overpowering-the wrenching grace of what it is to be human.”–Alvis Bender, Beautiful Ruins

  • Here’s what happens:
    • Here is a sweeping work of fiction with four interwoven story lines that explore love on their own terms, and somehow still wind up meeting in the middle, brought together by cinema, writing, and a few good shoves beyond each characters’ respective comfort zones. Starting out in a small fishing village in Italy, an unwell actress and an idealistic hotelier begin this vivid tale that takes us to Hollywood, where we meet a washed-up movie exec, a precocious and unsatisfied production assistant, and a hopeful divorcee turned screen writer. Mix-in a hapless musician and a rootless and somber war vet, and you’ve got the set-up for this remarkably connected and fluid story.
  • It’s good because:
    • Walter bounds between each story with ease and grace, drawing connections between disparate characters who are generations and countries apart. Each plot is distinct and intriguing without being jarring, yet the end nevertheless pulls out beautifully salient truths that unite each character, and resonate with the reader.
  • Read if:
    • You want an enjoyable read that still feels intellectual. Walter incorporates enough humor and pop culture to make this book relevant and quick-paced, perfectly suitable to read by a pool or in a bubble bath, but also mixes in a healthy dose of introspection and reflection, rendering it also an iconic and meaningful piece of literary fiction.

Up next: Tahiti with Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things!

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