Book Report // Beautiful Ruins

This weekend, Cameron and I went camping up in the Olympic Peninsula in Washington (more on that later this week!) and I had the opportunity to finish a great book! Beautiful Ruins: A Novel by Jess Walter is a fantastic summer read that I really enjoyed. Even though I know you’re not supposed to do this, I’ll admit that I was initially drawn to the book solely based on its cover after spotting it at Powell’s here in Portland. It features a gorgeous illustration of one of the colorful little towns that make up Cinque Terre region off Italy’s Ligurian coast. Cam and I fell in love with Cinque Terre when we visited Italy a few years ago so after I read that this book took place there, my interest was piqued and I decided to download it on my Kindle. Beautiful Ruins is one of those books goes back and forth between the past and present, and it’s through these flashbacks that the complex relationships between the characters slowly unfold. If you’re a fan of that type of storytelling (which I am), you’ll likely enjoy this book. The story starts in a small town near Cinque Terre in the 1960s then flashes forward to present day Hollywood; however, what I found really interesting was that it also featured multiple locations in the Pacific Northwest including Portland, Seattle, and Sandpoint, Idaho. The characters are well-developed, the plot was engaging, and I liked that it wasn’t just a straightforward romance or mystery. Instead it delves deeper into themes that I think a lot of people can relate to like desire, duty, regret, and second chances. It’s the perfect book to enjoy on the beach, so I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a fun read this summer! Hope everyone had a great weekend!