Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

"Stories are people. I'm a story, you're a story...your father is a story. Our stories go in every direction, but sometimes, if we're lucky, our stories join into one, and for a while, we're less alone."

Our story ping-pongs between the 1960's Italian Coast and present day Hollywood. Young Pasquale Tursi has taken over The Adequate View Hotel when a mysterious American actress, on the verge of success, arrives. Over the course of three days, the paths of many lives will change, in the smallest ways for the immediate future, but with repercussions that will span over the course of a lifetime.

Nearly 50 years later, an eager producer will make a pitch, an aging Hollywood staple will restore his faith, and a hopeful Italian man will fulfill a life-long quest. Walter creates a beautiful, real story about the choices we make and how they shape our lives. But most importantly, he gives us hope that it is never too late to chase a dream.

"Again, Pasquale felt the separate pulls of his mind and body-and right then, he honestly didn't know which way it would go. Would he stay in the boat? Or would he run up the path to the hotel and take her in his arms? And what would she do if he did? There was nothing explicit between them, nothing more than that slightly open door. And yet...what could be more alluring?

In that moment, Pasquale Tursi finally wrenched in two. His life was two lives now: the life he would have and the life he would forever wonder about."

Made the journey from Arkansas, to NYC,
 to the NH seashore with me.

Even Oscar enjoyed it.