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Beautiful Ruins: A Novel - Jess Walter "embrace the sweet lovely mess that is real life."

This quote from the book pretty much sums it up. Walter tells a story that shows the complexities of life and how sometimes people can find beauty among the ashes. I loved this book. I was immediately sucked in by the author's beautiful prose. Thematically there is this constant juxtaposition of average versus beautiful, contentment versus happiness, of doing what you want versus what you should. Having gone into this one without knowing much about it (I chose it completely based on the fact that I was travelling to Italy and the book is partially set there), I was pleasantly surprised. All in all this book ended up being one of my favorite reads this year.