Beautiful Ruins was placed on the New York Times Bestseller list in 2012, and has received hundreds of positive reviews for its beautiful story and masterful writing.
In the story, a young man named Pasquel is working at his family's fledgling inn on the Italian coast in 1962. He desperately wants to succeed individually, and has a desire to see his village become a well-known tourist destination on the map. His life is consumed by these passions until Dee Moray comes to visit.
Dee Moray is a beautiful American actress who arrives in Italy, sick and dying. Suddenly, the story fast-forwards 50 years to a scene in Los Angeles, where Pasquel is searching for his beloved Dee on the set of a movie.
The story continues to bounce back and forth in time, introducing new characters and filling in pieces of the story until the listener is captivated and compelled to hear the ending. The love story is not limited by geography or circumstances, and is told beautifully with humor, and a refreshing writing style.
Author Jess Walter has been described by many as amazingly talented, and although this is only his 6th book published, most of them have earned esteemed awards. His The Financial Lives of the Poets is currently being made into a movie for the big screen, and his newest work, We Live in Water: Stories is due out in February 2013. A writer from the start, Walter started out as a journalist for the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and Newsweek. He still lives in his hometown of Spokane, Washington.
Audie Award Nominee, Fiction and Best Solo Narration, 2013
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 50 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. Download and start listening now!