Book Discussion: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

  • March 13, 2014 · 7:00 PM
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This book was the top choice in our poll, almost unanimous!!!

This story is told in chapters that go back and forth in time, starting in 1962
in a little Italian coastal town named Porto Vergogna (Port Shame.) Here we are
introduced to a young man named Pasquel who's family owns the only small hotel
in the village, the name of which translates to The Hotel Adequate View.
Pasquale has big plans to make his village competitive with the successful
coastal communities nearby and attract more tourists. The only American tourist
who has visited the hotel before is a man named Alvis Bender, who comes every
year for two weeks to work on a book - a book for which he has only written one
chapter.

But when a young beautiful actress named Dee Moray arrives to
stay at The Hotel Adequate View, everything changes. As the book progresses we
find out what happened to these characters over time and how their lives and the
lives of so many others were changed as well.

The other main characters
include Claire Silver, a young, impassioned but disillusioned development
assistant for a man named Michael Deane, who is an older and successful and
legendary film producer. We also meet a young man named Shane Wheeler who wants
to make a pitch about a movie about the Donner Party. Add to the mix an
incredibly amusing and odd cast of characters both from the past and present.
And did I mention Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor?

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  • Belinda M.

    Thank you to Tracy and Caron for hosting a wonderful evening! Great company and a lovely dinner, and as always a lively discussion on our book. Looking forward to seeing everyone again in May!

    March 14, 2014

  • Jane A.

    Another enjoyable evening, I thought it was interesting to hear everyone's thoughts on this book, some liked it, some didn't. I myself, did. Thanks to Tracy and Caron for hostessing.

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you Tracy and Caron for a wonderful evening! Looking forward to the next meetup in April!

    March 14, 2014

  • Trudie G.

    Thank you to Tracy and Caron for the nice dinner and hostessing! Nice to see all of you!!!

    March 14, 2014

  • Afsaneh

    thank you Tracy and Caron for a great evening. Looking forward to the April meeting!

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    As always such a pleasure to be involved in an intelligent and informative discussion on a book we have in common. I'm already looking forward to next time.

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was great to meet everyone! I like the way the evening flowed. Looking forward to the next meeting.

    Tina

    1 · March 14, 2014

  • Valerie

    Great time, delicious food and one of the nicest crowd of ladies to be with. Thank you Caron and Tracy and a big thank you to Ann or creating this fun group.

    March 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Many thanks to our hosts, Caron and Tracy! Great dinner - good wine, etc. And thank you, the members, for your praise of our book club, suggestions for future events, friendship, etc. Hope to see the "newbies" Tina and Emilie again too - welcome!!

    1 · March 13, 2014

  • Crystal N.

    Hi everyone,
    Has the address been given out for tonight? I didn't know if I had missed it. See you all tonight.

    March 13, 2014

    • Christina

      Sorry, I just saw the address online.

      March 13, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      1855 Saint Francis St, Unit 2001

      March 13, 2014

  • Linda C.

    Sorry, I will not be able to attend. I had a family emergency?

    March 13, 2014

  • Trudie G.

    I will grab something to bring - wine chocolates....we will see.

    March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi. I am not feeling well so have to cancel last minute (4:30). Sorry and have fun. I will email Ann

    March 13, 2014

  • Carol G

    Hi, unfortunately, I am cancelling. Got very little sleep last night and had to get up at 6:30 and have meetings to attend today. I am anticipating I just won't have the energy to be out tonight. So sorry to miss it and look forward to next time!

    March 13, 2014

  • Katy

    Hi Everyone! I am so sorry to cancel so late. I seem to have come down with something. I had so much to say about this book too ;(

    March 13, 2014

    • Katy

      I hope someone on the wait list can take my place!

      March 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    hi! looking forward to my first book club meeting ;-)

    I would like to bring something to share - is there anything specific that we need?

    tina

    March 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Tina - I think we're OK for now. Perhaps you can bring something next time?? Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

      March 12, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      oh ok I will bring some wine ;-)

      March 12, 2014

  • JANICE M C.

    I am planning on bringing some olives and some nuts and whatever else yummy that I can find for us to munch on.

    March 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Cool!! Love it!

      March 11, 2014

  • Trudie G.

    I can go now because my husband can take over and I am waitlisted! Boo hoo! Let me know if something opens up!!!!

    March 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Oh wow - I'll check with the hosts, and review the RSVP's to see if they're current. OK?

      1 · March 11, 2014

  • Trudie G.

    The planets just are not aligning well for me and attending these last two events. My kids ' activities are overtaking too much time. Don't give up on me
    Hoping next month will work. So sorry about this.

    March 11, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      They grow up SO fast, so enjoy it while you can. Hope to see you at the next one.

      March 11, 2014

  • Katy

    I'll bring a beverage :) see everyone Thursday!

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I will bring soda water you need something else. Thanks

      March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great Maude - we can use more beverages.

      March 10, 2014

  • Christina

    I'll bring a dessert.

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yummy - desserts are always great, no matter what :)

      March 10, 2014

  • Jane A.

    I'll add to the dessert selections.

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Great - we'll have choices!! Thanks Jane

      March 10, 2014

  • Linda C.

    I will bring whatever you need, Tracy!

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Linda-, we still need desserts! That would be awesome!

      March 10, 2014

    • Linda C.

      I will bring a dessert!

      March 10, 2014

  • Belinda M.

    I'll bring rolls. See everyone Thursday!

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      YUM- who doesn't love carbs?? HA!!

      March 10, 2014

  • Carol G

    I'll bring white wine!

    March 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Terrific, and thank you!

      March 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I can't wait. I really enjoyed this book. Beautifully written light read.

    March 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Ann! I'm on the wait list.

    January 11, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Try again Caron - I believe I fixed the problem. Let me know if you get the same response though. OK? I changed the settings to allow a wait list. Don't worry either - if you're #1-4 on any of the wait lists, you will usually get in. But do try again, and contact me if it doesn't work. Thanks for alerting me to this.

    January 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      No luck. It still says RSVP is closed....

      January 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      OK, let me review the settings again and try later today, OK? Let me know.

      January 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would like to be on the wait list, but it's listed as closed.

    January 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Wonderful!!! Feedback from the last book club you hosted was terrific!! Thanks for stepping up to the plate again - truly, a great team!

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I love this book too. Do you want me to help out again?

    October 21, 2013

    • Victoria

      I would love it. Thank you.

      October 21, 2013

  • Victoria

    Thanks Ann! It would be my pleasure and I'll have two months to recover. And it's not as if I'll have to do it on my own in January, Sigrid is the co-hostess with the mostest.

    October 20, 2013

  • Victoria

    Yay! I just read this and loved it! May I host, please, pretty please? I won't ask for anything all year long, Santa Ann.

    October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      That would be wonderful Victoria!! Thank you for volunteering - esp since you're hosting January's discussion too. Are you sure you want to take on more than one??

      October 20, 2013

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