Everything Beautiful Began After by Simon Van Booy
Published by: Harper Perennial
Published on: July 2011
Page Count: 400
Genre: Literary Fiction
My Reading Format: eGalley provided to me via NetGalley
Available Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
My Thoughts, Feelings and Love:
In other words, I’m too all over the map to be call this a review
I am at a loss for words when it comes to Everything Beautiful Began After. I feel like I must say something profound. I’ve written draft after draft of less than profound drivel. Posting any of that would be like throwing pearls before swine. I simply cannot do that to this gorgeous book.
Reading Everything Beautiful Began After was like looking out my bedroom window and seeing:
If this picture means nothing to you, read this book. The right picture will come to your mind and it will encapsulate:
- The glory of a first, all-consuming love
- The heartbreak of losing that love
- The crazy things heartbreak prompts you to do
- The walls you’re trying hard, but unsuccessfully, to build around the love who hurt you
- The hope of love returning
When I first picked this book up, my first thought was “everything beautiful began after what?” The answer was quite simple. It began after I started reading Simon Van Booy’s first words. This book was so fabulous that I would have eaten it if I could. I got wrapped up and lost in his prose easily, despite the formatting distractions that come hand in hand with reading an eGalley. I did have to stop after Henry and Rebecca’s first date because it was probably one of the most romantic scenes I have ever read. While Henry woos Rebecca, Van Booy is wooing the reader. I just had to catch my breath.
Here are some examples of what made Everything Beautiful Began After such a delight to read:
from page 67
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Rebecca interrupted. “loneliness is like being the only person left alive in the universe, except that everyone else is still here.”
from page 274
You remember what George said once about language, about words and sentences—like Pompei, a world intact, but abandoned. You scramble down the words like ropes, he said. You dangle from sentences. You drop from letters into pools of what happened.
Language is like drinking from one’s own reflection in still water. We only take from it what we are at that time.
from page 367
After every chapter of devastation, there is rebuilding.
It happens without thought.
It happens even when there is no guarantee it won’t happen again.
Humans may come and go—but the thread of hope is like a rope we pull ourselves up with.
I smiled with Henry. I soared high with Henry. I understood Henry. I cried with Henry. I despaired with Henry. I hoped for Henry. I loved Henry. Now, I miss Henry.
What else is there to say?