Book Review: Beautiful Ruins

In terms of storytelling, Beautiful Ruins goes backwards, forwards, and sideways.  We start in the early 60s in an Italian fishing town so small the locals assume people only show up there by mistake (they do).  Pasquale Tursi runs the small inn on the island and is in awe of Dee, the American actress staying in his hotel while she takes a leave from filming after learning she has cancer.

Suddenly it is present day Hollywood and Pasquale has traveled across the ocean to confront the scoundrel he believes ruined Dee’s life.  As the story of what really happened in Italy unfolds, we are introduced to a wild Richard Burton, a cocaine-addicted 90s musician, a war veteran attempting to write a book, and a frustrated producer’s assistant.  Every character in the story is trying to get their life back on track, but happiness and stability is a fluid concept.  Perhaps happiness is the peace of mind that comes with knowing your life is what it is and fate won’t have it any other way.
3.5 out of 5 stars…maybe 4; I’m on the fence.