Books

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

Ah, what if? This universal refrain underlies Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a spirited novel that begins when its hero, ill-fated Italian hotelier Pasquale Tursi, must decide whether to confess his feelings for a beautiful American actress who unexpectedly turns up in his sleepy seaside village.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Watson

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Watson

Ah, what if? This universal refrain underlies Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins, a spirited novel that begins when its hero, ill-fated Italian hotelier Pasquale Tursi, must decide whether to confess his feelings for a beautiful American actress who unexpectedly turns up in his sleepy seaside village. Fifty years later, Pasquale heads to Hollywood to track down his lost love and runs into a supporting cast of characters similarly obsessed with the fallout from their past decisions. From failed screenwriters and actors to a cosmetically enhanced has-been producer who knows more than he lets on, each character’s quest for notoriety ends in a reflection on the choices that invariably led to another path. In a tale told with warmth and humour, Walter’s quirky, engaging characters are ultimately redeemed by their “stubborn belief in possibility.”

Beautiful Ruins, Jess Walter, $26.

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