beautiful ruins by jess walter

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fun read and it does open like a movie. Not to mention I love the cover art and typography. They give a movie poster feel from that era. Also on the 100 Notable Books, Book Review for 2012 by The New York Times.

It is April 1962. A beautiful blond American actress, a dying beautiful blond American actress, mysteriously arrives alone and by boat to the dock of “a rumor of a town,” the fictitious Porto Vergogna on the Italian coast south of Genoa. She is 22-year-old Dee Moray, fresh off the Roman film set of “Cleopatra” — the scandal-ridden Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton epic, which, with a budget at about 300 million of today’s dollars, is among the most expensive movies ever made. This young woman’s charmed entrance into this tiny village, which is accessible only by water, captures the attention of Pasquale Tursi, the azure-eyed, even younger proprietor of an empty pen­sione, the “Hotel Adequate View.” “Chest-deep in daydreams” and also seawater, Pasquale, who aspires to turn the village into a resort town, has taken on the Sisy­phean task of trying to build a beach out of “the rocky, shrimp-curled cove” by getting wet and digging the stones out of the inlet by hand. He holds a big rock beneath his chin and watches in “a burst of clarity after a lifetime of sleep” as Dee ascends onto the pier. She smiles at him and Pasquale falls in love, and “would remain in love for the rest of his life — not so much with the woman, whom he didn’t even know, but with the moment.” - Sunday Book Review, The New York Times

(Thanks Sarah!)