Beautiful Ruins

There’s nothing like a trip to the Italian coast when the temps plummet into winter. Beautiful Ruins is a lovely, lovely tale—taking the best parts of an intricate tale like The Casual Vacancy and blending it with sweeping, emotionally wrought stories of love, such as in The Light Between Oceans. Were I a single girl in 1962, I just may have fought Amedea for Pasquale’s heart. Oh, Pasquale … What you need to know before you dive in—the reader is jostled back and forth between 1962 in Italy and “Recently” in the States. Most of the characters figure prominently in … Continue reading Beautiful Ruins

In One Person

Some books just take a while. John Irving’s “In One Person” was the reminder I needed that not every great book is one that you can’t put down. The tale of William “Billy” Abbott, as told by Billy, is one that is almost better to enjoy slowly. It reads like your best friend from prep school catching you up on the last 60 years of his life, and before you know it, you’re hooked. The cast of characters is a large one—Billy, his best friend Elaine, his stepfather Richard, mother Mary, grandfather Harry, Aunt Muriel, Uncle “Let ‘Em In” Bob, … Continue reading In One Person

To Be Sung Underwater

Ah, well. If you have even the teeniest bone in your body that belongs to a hopeless romantic, THIS is the book you should read. The story of Judith and Willy is the story of anyone who experienced an all-encompassing first love—the kind that lives in your heart long past it makes sense for it to reside there. Judith Whitman is a wife. A wife, and a mom, and a film editor. While to outsiders she may appear to be living the stuff of dreams, her life isn’t much different from anyone else’s, and Tom McNeal’s writing is such that … Continue reading To Be Sung Underwater