I had heard a lot of good things about Simon Van Booy’s new novel ‘Everything Beautiful Began After’. This is a story about love, loss, grief, romance and tragedy on an unexpected scale. Set in Greece, the book is woven around Rebecca, a young French artist seeking herself and the meaning to her life in Athens. She meets George, a charming young man who has an affinity for drink. Then, there’s Henry, a dashing and suave archaeologist. All three have dark secrets holding them back. All three will find their lives turned topsy turvy in unimaginable ways.
The book reminded me of ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ in some ways. The writing by Van Booy is beautiful, even poetic. It didn’t start that way, though (for me at least). Although the poetry was evident from the start, I struggled a bit with the first chapter trying to figure out what or who the author was referring to. Things moved slowly (for me, again), until Henry appeared on to the scene. Then the pace of the book escalated and didn’t slow down until I had finished it and put it down in sheer amazement at the gift this man had. What a storyteller!
Another unusual tactic was the use of ‘you’ in the second half of the book when talking about Henry. It was odd, especially because the first half didn’t have any of this. Who was it talking to Henry?
If a book makes you want to take notes, you know it is a keeper. In the end, that’s what that matters. I loved the book and I recommend it if you like love stories. Be prepared to have your emotions wrenched a bit, though.
To learn more about the author, visit his website here.
Title: Everything Beautiful Began After
Author: Simon Van Booy
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: July 5, 2011
Paperback: 416 pages
Copy : From publisher