21 Aug 2012

Beautiful Ruins

 Beautiful Ruins… with such a beautiful vintage style cover… Have you read it? I am loving it and thought you might enjoy Beautiful Ruins too.

“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 am finding that Beautiful Ruins is a relaxing read, it has a wonderful cadence… is very well written and is just about perfect right now… Summer is drawing to a close, I can feel it in the air, but turning these pages prolongs the sweetness… Beautiful Ruins is filling my afternoons and allowing me those delicious moments of escapism… xv

Beautiful Ruins… here

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Veronique Savoye

Dearest Vicki. Another friend recommended this book, so I guess I must really read it now. I must confess it sounds très promising :-) Tonight, i downloaded a new selection into my faithful Nook reader, the latest Julia Child biography, “Dearie.” Have you read it? New post is up. Off to bed I go so I get to read more about wonderful Julia. A bientôt. Veronique (French Girl in Seattle) PS: I know you are right. Summer is drawing to a close, but non, non, non: I will not think about that right now!

Jeanne McKay Hartmann

Vicki, we read Beautiful Ruins as our last book club selection and I loved how artfully the author stitched the stories together and created such wonderfully believable characters. The perfect choice for sand-in-toes, lazing-in-a-hammock, end-of summer reading. With a few sips of limoncello to pair it with, I think.
Happy August! XO


It is on my list for this summer. I need to take time to read it before the bustle of Fall takes over. Thanks for the reminder.

Anita Rivera

Bonjour Vicki!

Our summer is waning here too, and good reads and quiet days are helping my summer to last just a little while longer, in my heart and mind. I MUST GET THIS BOOK TODAY, for I love the Italian coast but most of all, perfectly written stories are imperfect people.

Thank you SO MUCH for coming to visit yesterday! Enjoy your read…Anita


I will check it out. This book seems to be a beautiful story set in one of the towns of Cinque Terre which is a beautiful town in itself.

Kathy Peck Leeds

I’m in the middle of “Beautiful Ruins” right now. It’s a very hectic time for me as my daughter is getting married September 1st, so not much in the way of lazy afternoons – but I’m enjoying it when I have insomnia, which seems to be too often, but expected right now.

Trish Murphy

I love the cover it has me already.Thank you for the recommendation. X Trish

Amy Kortuem

Stop, stop, stop! Please stop suggesting these gorgeous books! I’m deep into writing these days and can’t afford to be distracted by reading!

La Contessa

WILL DO SO!After I finish THAT WOMAN, the story of WALLIS SIMPSON.I lived in Italy for three years way back when so I will enjoy am certain!Thank ~You for the recommendation!


Sounds intriguing! Can’t wait to pick this one up. Sounds like the perfect thing to stop reminding me that summer is waning.
Thanks Vicki!

Garden, Home and Party

This sounds like a fun book for summer. I’ll check it out. I love it when I can pick up a book recommended by someone I trust…kind of like when you order a CD and only like 1 song, it’s good to get a recommendation.


Ooooo Vicki,
I only had to read the first line of your post and know that I’m going to love Beautiful Ruins. I’m off to buy it, tout suite !! Thanks for the recommendation.
Hope you are well Vicki and having a lovely summer. Lots of love. XXXX


It’s hard not to resist any recommendation for a good read from you Vicki. Infact, a “Beautiful Ruins” was already on my “want to read this book” list. But as soon as I read your spin on it, the distance from here to amazon.com wasn’t short enough for me to order. All done and it will be at my door in a few days. I don’t know if I should thank you or only come in when you are posting about beautiful models and your gorgeous garden. Just kidding. xx

Porchlight Interiors

Wow Vicki, based on your glowing review I headed straight to Amazon and bought a copy – can’t wait to read it! The cover alone was enough to entice as it looked like my view from our apartment in Positano. Cheers, Tracey xx


Vicki this book sounds just right to me. I am reading voraciously this summer. Thank you for the the recommendation.

Art by Karena
2012 Artist Series

Helen Tilston

It looks good Vicki. I just started “the hare with the amber eyes”and it is a page turner.

Thanks again for this recommendation

Helen xx


Thanks Vicki! I’m looking for a light read .. and this sounds perfect. Hope you are enjoying your week.


Paris Rendez-vous

Must look out for this Vicki…it sounds perfect. Another good summer read is “The Most Beautiful Walk in the World” by John Baxter, another fab Aussie author! Have you read it….he describes the most beautiful Paris walks. I read it last Christmas during our Australian summer…another perfect book for the holidays.

Melisa Keiser

I was repinning something of yours on Pinterest and followed the thread back to your beautiful blog. As I scrolled down, I found the Beautiful Ruins recommendation and had to comment.

I’m a volunteer at the local library here in Carmel, IN and every year we have a fundraiser called the Guilded Leaf Book & Author Luncheon. I’m responsible for author hospitality and as I’m a travel agent, I often book the authors’ flights.

I recently booked Jess Walter’s flight and cannot wait to hear him speak! I haven’t read the book yet, but hearing good things about it from the reading committee at the Carmel Clay Public Library!


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