A true story: On a recent flight to Rome, I spied a copy of Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter in the seatback pocket of the woman sitting to my right. While we were chatting, I asked her about the book. It was given to her by a colleague who said that she take it with her on her vacation in Cinque Terre—a prominent setting of the novel. Though he was on page 40, he insisted that she borrow the book from him.
I gushed about Beautiful Ruins, a unanimous thumbs-up / 5-star read with my book club, and offered full disclosure of professional affiliation…
My neighbor on Delta 246 started the book before I fell asleep, and told me that she was hooked by the time the flight attendants came around with beverage service and woke me up.