Review: Beautiful Ruins, by Jess Walter

Intertwined story lines are featured in this, the author’s seventh novel. One plot involves a young actress in Italy with a part in the 1962 Richard Burton/Liz Taylor film, “Cleopatra.” The ailing actress, Dee Moray, ends up at a tiny hotel on Italy’s Cinque Terre coast where the innkeeper is smitten with her beauty. The second plot has a contemporary setting and features an aging movie producer turned reality TV mogul, his assistant who is debating quitting her job, and an elderly man who has come halfway around the world to find the beautiful woman he last saw decades earlier. Although humorous and romantic, I found the plot somewhat scattered and overly wordy in sections. This novel did win some prizes, so try it out and see what you think.

RATING: * * * A good read

Reviewed by: kh

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