Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
After hearing a number of friends rave about this novel (and seeing that beautiful cover art), I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one! And I certainly wasn't disappointed! What a fantastic little novel! I had no expectations going in. And I was definitely pleasantly surprised by how lovely this novel was to read! It's one of those novels that reads so effortlessly, appears to be a light sort of novel but is really a more complex, in depth novel when you scratch below the surface. Or at least that is how it felt to me.
It took me about 30 pages to get sucked into the story but once I was, I was IN. 100% in. It grabbed me and didn't let go until the final sentence. Which is refreshing and surprisingly rare these days!
This is a novel about so many things - forgiveness, choices, family, and even redemption. Yet, it is a quiet sort of novel. No huge crises or tensions to make you think WOW. It's more of a journey through the lives of a group of people who weave in and out of the novel. They are definitely connected but they are also separate journeys, many in parallel, that each teach another nuance of the overall story. Jess Walter weaves these stories together so effortlessly and makes the entire novel so readable. Yet, its never simple or easy. Just fluid and effortless.
This is a novel that reads like a summer sort of 'beach read' yet it's really so much more nuanced than what you'd usually call a beach read. I think its a special book in that way. This book is a charming read that I really enjoyed. I think its something almost anyone would enjoy and get something out of. What a gem! I'm so glad that I found this one!
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