I read The Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walters. The title is as much about the characters as it is about the central setting of the book. There were a few surprises, but otherwise the book was very predictable. The tone was cynical, full of dry humor. Then the novel attempts to end on a positive note (the power of love!) and takes great pains to tie up all loose ends. What happened to that minor character in the beginning that I never really cared about? What was the story of the man who painted in the ruins of Porto Vergogna? All lingering questions and more were answered, everyone got their satisfactory conclusion. I found the main characters were irresponsible to the point where they were difficult to relate to, and their irresponsible choices is what sets up the book and drives the plot forward.