Thoughts Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy, Harper Perennial 2011, 402 pages
MOTIVATION for READING: Oh boy. I can blame all of this on my good friend Nancy the Bookfool. She’s the one who first told me about SVB and I think she may have even sent my the story collection which I fell hard in love with (for?) and gave a whopping big 5 stars to. AND THEN?! Why she tells me that our SVB will be in Boston in September! OH JOY! So I suggested that she should just come and go WITH me to see Mr. Van Booy at the Boston Public Library and lo-and-behold, she bit. She will be my guest that week as I drop her off in the center of old towns to take millions of pictures of buildings and flowers (and dogs since I don’t have any cats), make her run errands with me, be a taste tester for my wonderful husband’s creative cooking, and who knows what else.
But WAIT! There’s MORE!
Since all the stuff is being planned to go SEE the author, I suggested to my book club that we READ the book for our September choice (it was my month to pick and since I had to read it anyway…) I was hoping to invite any/all of my sister-clubbers to attend with us but alas, it is first week of school so I don’t think anyone has the energy to blip in something like this that week. Of course, they are still invited to meet us there. Nancy and I have to take a little detour to Boston College that morning and hurry in for lunch plans.
AND? Yep, more. My parents will be visiting during the week of my book club meeting so I will make Mom read the book and bring her along! My mother is a hit at these things. Should be a quite fun. Right, Mom? :)
Which brings me to the part about this book. In one word, EVOCATIVE.
evocative |iˈväkətiv|adjective – bringing strong images, memories, or feelings to mind : powerfully evocative lyrics| the building’s cramped interiors are highly evocative of past centuries.
Quickly, it is about a girl who goes to Athens because Athens is a city with a personality that calls to lost souls. She befriends one man who falls for her and yet she falls for another man and in the meantime, these two gentlemen become friends and don’t realize their connection and then stuff happens and time goes on and there is MUCH traveling which was one of my favorite parts even though the style of writing was different. Overall? It is short by epic. It is emotional, beautiful, philosophical, quiet and powerful. Then POW! We are back at the beginning and the urge to start reading it again right away is huge.
I’m now going to pull Nancy’s words off her post first mentioning this novel:
It seems to be a love triangle, at first, and it begins a little slowly. Apart from the beauty of his writing, you may even be tempted to think it’s not going to be anything special. And, then Simon yanks the rug out from you and turns the story on its head. Suddenly, what you thought was a love triangle becomes a story of grief and hope. It’s almost a tapestry — about love and death and friendship, the fleeting nature of life and how much every single moment counts. Everything Beautiful Began After is awe-inspiring, uplifting, authentic, hopeful, beautiful. It’s everything I hoped Simon’s first novel would be. Prepare to have your heart broken and then put back together with sparkles and rainbows. Everything Beautiful Began After is a book you simply must read.
Also, I must bring you to Literate Housewife’s words AND photos her experience reading this book. Any blogger that brings up John Cusack in a review is tops with me. So click on the link and read what she has to say. My favorite? When she says the important theme is “The hope of love returning.” Yes.
It is likely that I will not post between now and then. I’ll be back, don’t worry. Happy Back to School! Happy September! Happy Labor Day! Happy Happy Happy.