Ten writers for children. All with something to say.


Summer Escape

April 1962
Porto Vergogna, Italy

The dying actress arrived in his village the only way one could come directly—in a boat that motored into the cove, lurched past the rock jetty, and bumped against the end of the pier. She wavered a moment in the boat’s stern, then extended a slender hand to grip the mahogany railing; with the other, she pressed a wide-brimmed hat against her head. All around her, shards of sunlight broke on the flickering waves.

Twenty meters away, Pasquale Tursi watched the arrival of the woman as if in a dream. Or rather, he would think later, a dream’s opposite; a burst of clarity after a lifetime of sleep.

Opening of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
I lost myself in this complex, cinematic novel set in Italy, Edinburgh, and Hollywood. The characters and language are marvelous. I enjoyed it so much I immediately read an earlier book by the author, The Financial Lives of the Poets.


Lauren said...

I was just looking at Beautiful Ruins in the bookstore the other night! I even read the opening lines you just shared and thought it must be the kind of read to travel far away from normal life. With your recommendation, I will make the leap. And how was the other book?

Christy said...

Lauren, my husband gave me The Financial Lives of the Poets a couple years ago and I hadn't gotten around to picking it up. After loving Beautiful Ruins, I wanted more of this author. It's a very different book, but also a good read. I thinkyou'd like them both.

mark said...

Thanks for the recommendation, Christy. I love the opening to Beautiful Ruins, and I love the title of Financial Lives of Poets! I will add them to my reading list.

Stephanie said...

I loved Beautiful Ruins and recommend it to everyone:) I need to read his others.I'd love to visit that part of Italy one day.