I read this on my Kindle and rated it 4 stars.
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.
And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.
What unfolds is a dazzling, yet deeply human, roller coaster of a novel, spanning fifty years and nearly as many lives. From the lavish set of Cleopatra to the shabby revelry of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Walter introduces us to the tangled lives of a dozen unforgettable characters: the starstruck Italian innkeeper and his long-lost love; the heroically preserved producer who once brought them together and his idealistic young assistant; the army veteran turned fledgling novelist and the rakish Richard Burton himself, whose appetites set the whole story in motion—along with the husbands and wives, lovers and dreamers, superstars and losers, who populate their world in the decades that follow.
Gloriously inventive, constantly surprising, Beautiful Ruins is a story of flawed yet fascinating people, navigating the rocky shores of their lives while clinging to their improbable dreams.
I fell in love with the Italian coast part of the story. I have heard so much about this part of Italy, it makes me want to visit someday. The idealistic inn-keeper, Pasquale and the family and friends he supported. The ailing young starlet, he is smitten by, seems to have an attraction to all she meets. All the main characters are pretty well developed. I felt like I knew them well, with the exception of Michael, who I did not like at all. A user and abuser of others. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to indulge in looking into people's lives. It is a love story, yes, but a story about the people with maybe unattainable dreams that keep them focused on being their best selves.
I will be linking this review to
hosted by Sarah at Workaday Reads. I signed up to read 25 ebooks, this is number 13. I am afraid I will fail this challenge.
Until Next Time
Stay Busy and Stay Happy