Book Review: Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter | Book Review by The 1000th Voice

Beautiful Ruins
By Jess Walter

So, I picked up this book to read for a book club that I wasn’t actually able to attend, but that’s OK, because this book was amazing. I read at least half of the book before realizing I’d read a Jess Walter book before. Every Knee Shall Bow was also a good book, but as a nonfiction book about an overly religious family who were targeted by the FBI, it’s vastly different.


Don’t let the chick-lit like cover of this book fool you. This is a serious, modern literary work. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

Life is a blatant act of imagination. (page 13)

Not that there’s anything wrong with some nice fluffy chick lit, but this book provides a nice, layered story line that kept me interested from page one.

We live in a world of banal miracles. (page 30)

Without even knowing it, this book continued a recent trend for me (one that I’ve really enjoyed). This story features multiple narrators in different times. Different times here isn’t the key. I LOVE multiple narrators. I don’t know if it’s the varied perspective or some other aspect, but this just works for me.


Writing 5 out of 5 stars

Walters writing is detailed and strong.

Character Development 4 out of 5 stars

While I love a varied perspective, it does require jumping around and missing some of the development of characters.

Plot Structure 5 out of 5 stars

Again, I love a good varied perspective story that advances the plot in its own asynchronous way.

Storytelling 4.5 out of 5 stars

It’s a lovely, fascinating story that really kept my attention.

Total  4.625 out of 5 stars

Have you read Beautiful Ruins? Did you enjoy it

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Beautiful Ruins

    • I’m interested in reading Walters’ other books including The Financial Lives of Poets. Other recent multiperspective books that I liked were Dracula and The Casual Vacancy. The most recent book I read that I could hardly put down and pretty much blew my mind was Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. I haven’t reviewed it yet but it was amazing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s