March 1, 2015

BBBC: Beautiful Ruins

Wow! another month has passed which means, another book placed back on my bookshelf; technically archived on my Nook!

I was not surprised by the selection of this book, "A Beautiful Ruins," by Ashley of If You Give A Girl A Ring! See, she and her husband are avid travelers who recently returned from a trip to Italy! If you desire to visit Italy, head on over to her blog. Here are a few of her specific Italy-related posts: Food Lover's Guide to Rome; Being Venetian in Venice!; and Capri.

Ok, back to the book!

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 will be really honest, at first I was not loving this book because it jumps between various story-lines which Jess Walter beautifully weaves together. This pregnant lady was merely overwhelmed with the various story-lines, but eventually got to a point where I could NOT put the book down; or rather, my Nook!

In tracking their journey, while also hopscotching through time and place, Jess Walter skillfully fills in the lives and loves of the characters we’ve met. I interpreted the title of the book, Beautiful Ruins, to mean that although life brings about many hardships, in the end they come together for a true purpose. Jess Walter does a fabulous job balancing his writing style with a mixture of pathos and comedy which seemingly stirs the heart. The amusement also rescues us from the all too human pain that is the heart of this complex and ever-evolving novel - and life, in general.
Now, go on and head on over the the other Members' blogs to see what they thought about the book!

Heather - Love To Be Busy

For the month of March we are reading "One Moment, One Morning" by Sarah Rayner. This book was chosen by Heather. I really look forward to reading this book. The BBBC has really widened my bookshelf - especially with books that I most likely would not have chosen on my own!

If you are a blogger, and are interested in joining our book club, please Contact Me to learn more. If you do not write a blog that is ok, because you can still join in on the fun!

Each month, one of the Beauty Blogger Book Club (BBBC) members will choose a book for the Club to read. At the beginning of the following month, we each write a book report/summary for our readers to enjoy and share the book for the following month!

Question of the Day: What did you think of "Beautiful Ruins?"

Michelyn Cynthia

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