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Beautiful Ruins - Jess Walter

Join us to discuss Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (summary below).

People are planning to meet up at a restaurant close by before heading over to my house. So feel free to join that and/or bring something to snack on and drink, and as always, it's very nice to bring things to share.

I live in the Castro, and will send out my address to those who RSVP "yes" either the evening before or morning of the meeting. 


Happy Reading!

Andrea


Summary:

Beautiful Ruins is a glorious read for book lovers. From the moment you pick up the novel, it conjures a world that you long to enter. The teal-blue Ligurian Sea laps against a jagged coastline filled with candy-colored houses and open windows. At first glance, you’re dying to get inside those houses and find out what’s going on.

You needn’t worry. Jess Walter has written a sumptuous epic about the real people who make art, spinning illusion for fun, profit, and meaning. There are screen actors, a novelist, and Pasquale, an innkeeper, who keeps his patrons fed and watered on homemade wine and dreams. Among all the shimmer and hope are the lost souls who long to create something, anything. And just as Jess Walter introduces us to these characters, he follows them for fifty years. The journey will delight and captivate you.

You will be crushed when the novelist, Alvis, tracks down a woman whom he believed saved him in his youth, only to take a long walk down a dark hallway into a room where everything he believes and all his hopes shatter in one exchange. Jess Walter can break your heart in one conversation.

If you love the ancient charms of the Italian coast on the Ligurian Sea, if you long for Edinburgh and its cold rain and distant hot sun, and if you love stories of the dream factory that is Hollywood, you will not be able to part from this book until you are finished reading it. Even then, for months afterward, you’ll keep it close so you can reread a passage here and there that moved you.

It’s all here, the illusion and reality, the joy and the shame of the creative life, of life itself. The ingenue Dee, the producer Michael, and the D-girl Claire take you into the world of making movies, the expectations and disappointments, and in an ingenious turn, the author pins the hem of the action with real Hollywood stars, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who are engaging in a drama of their own in Rome.

Jess Walter has quietly and expertly built a career over six novels that puts him at the forefront of great American writers. Beautiful Ruins is the emerald among the pearls.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    Great group of women and great discussion (and networking:)

    September 11, 2013

  • Shannon

    Great pick!

    September 11, 2013

  • felicia J.

    Loved it! Will be back.

    September 11, 2013

  • Jill

    Fire drill at work, it's going to be a long night...catch up with you Ladies next month, I hope. :-(

    September 10, 2013

    • Helen

      Unfortunately I've been tasked tonight to write up an analysis of the Presidents speech so I will have to postpone until next month as well. Please let me know what the next book assignment is. Thanks so much and apologies to all. Helen

      September 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi Ladies
    I just wanted to remind everyone that this month we'll be meeting at Zapata's Mexican Grill (see address below) before our next book group meeting. Zapata's is just a few blocks from Andrea's house (really). I'll be there at 6:00 pm. Looking forward to getting to know everyone a little better. Jennifer Martin
    [masked]th St
    (between Collingwood St & Castro St)
    San Francisco, CA 94114
    Neighborhood: Castro
    (415)[masked]

    September 8, 2013

    • Helen

      Hi--I'm new to the group and look forward to meeting you all.

      September 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hey there Bev - Please join us. The more the merrier! I'll do my best to snag some tables.

      September 10, 2013

  • Bev

    I also need to work late, sorry to cancel. I look forward to next month.

    September 10, 2013

  • Brenda

    I intend to make it to the dinner, if I am not held up gawking at the new bridge on my way over!

    September 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi All ... including Jennifer re: EATS ... Regrets RSVP.

    September 9, 2013

  • Helen

    I'd love to join you and hope there's still some room left, I will do my best to catch up with the book which sounds wonderful

    September 9, 2013

  • Christine C.

    Out of town unexpectedly.

    September 7, 2013

  • Irene

    last minute family gathering. hope to join in next month.

    September 7, 2013

  • Jill

    Back from vacation! Heard this book is excellent, can't wait to start it!

    August 16, 2013

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