*I received an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book from the Author.*
I have a special place in my heart for Adriana Trigiani’s books. They’re warm, welcoming, family oriented and they simply make you feel good. A little romance, a little over-the-top Italian family drama, some anachronistic professions that feel quaint in the modern world – they’re simple.
This particular book is about Valentine, a shoemaker, who falls in love with Gianluca, her much older leather supplier. It’s a nice enough story, but it felt a little artificial. Valentine is constantly worrying – about his age, about whether they should have kids, about her ex who is still present in her life, about where to live. On the one hand, these are issues that need to be worked out before marriage. Continue reading
Beautiful Ruins is, ostensibly, about Hollywood. And how it seems to corrupt all it touches. The book alternates between two time periods. First, the story begins in 1962, when a beautiful, blond American starlet in a moment of need happened upon an isolated Italian island, and its lonely, isolated hotel owner. And then picks up again, in modern times, when an aging Hollywood producer legend is working with a young, ambitious woman who realizes her career is not heading in the direction she hoped.
I understand why people rave about this book. The plot itself is intriguing – a young starlet led astray and deceived by those she trusted; an aging Hollywood tycoon who may or may not make it right; the young upstart just trying to make something of herself at her day job. There’s also something surprisingly dark about this book. To me, it felt like this book was about what happens when you give up on your dreams. Continue reading