Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: Beautiful Ruins

Title: Beautiful Ruins
Author: Jess Walter
Format: Kindle
Reading Dates: Dec 29 - Jan 5, 2013
Rating: *****

Oh wow! Where to start? Well,as Carlo in "Beautiful Ruins" suggests, "“Perhaps you could write first the ending.”

So OK, I cried myself to sleep at the end of this book. Actually I started sobbing about four chapters from the end and just wouldn't let up. It's not often that a book does that to me. Part of it was there were a lot of truths told in this book and part of it was that I knew the end was coming and I really didn't want to leave these characters.

It's hard to start talking about the beginning because it's hard to know what the beginning really is. Each chapter is set in a different time from 1962 to the present to WWII to the Donner Party to others, and all of it weaves itself into a magical narrative about the nature of love--the love of your life, the love that could have been, the fantasy love--and life.

I loved this book for that out of sequence aspect. I also loved it because some chapters were different formats altogether--screenplays, novels, biographies, plays--and again each of them uncovering just a bit more of the story so there was a continuous sigh of recognition and reconciliation. (Ah, I see now.)

Be sure to read this book with someone else because you will want to discuss it over and over. A true page turner. I reluctantly and uncontrollably stayed up late to finish it. Highly recommended!


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  2. Stephanie,
    You took the words right out of my mouth. The story was so compelling that it would not let me put it down until it was finished, and then I wanted to read it again.

  3. Oh gosh, The Financial Lives of Poets was one of my favorite books, and I would love to read this one and see where Walters takes me next. It does sound like a great read, and I am off to look for it right now. Thanks for the heads up on this one. This is a must read for me!

    Dwayne Johnston (Seattle DUI Lawyer)