ISBN-13: 9780061661488
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: July 2011
Format: Paperback, 416pp
Source: Publisher

When the publicist contacted me awhile back and asked if I wanted to read Simon Van Booy's Everything Beautiful Began After, I've to confess I was a little hesitant at first; after all I've never read anything by this author. However, a little voice inside my head urged me to give him a try and you know what, I was so glad I did.

Everything Beautiful Began After tells a story about three different people and how their life changed after they met one another. At one glance of the blurb, one may dismiss it as a love story but let me tell you that there's more going on here than that.

Rebecca used to be an air stewardess before she comes to Athens to paint. When Rebecca was young, she and her sister lived with their grandfather as they were abandoned by their mother. At that time, she was also very intrigued by their grandmother since their grandfather barely mentioned her or her passing. Rebecca and her sister then grew apart when the latter got married and Rebecca began to travel around the world as an air stewardess. After working for a few years, Rebecca said goodbye to her job and arrived in Athens where she met George under coincidental circumstances.

While Rebecca seeks solace in painting, George, on the other hand came to Athens to learn ancient language. Before then, his life at New England boarding school is often lonely and only revolves around ancient language and alcohol. He began to walk out of his drunken stupor gradually, and he thinks meeting Rebecca is the best thing that happened in his life.

Henry is the last person to enter this story, yet he is the one who creates the ripples in both Rebecca's and George's life. Rebecca began to fall for him after their encounter over a book, and as you can tell their worlds collide and it is only a matter of time that the three will meet one another face to face and see where fate will take them.

Told in two different perspectives (second and third person), Simon Van Booy weaves an unforgettable story about love, friendship, loss as well as the mundane realities of life and how the characters cope when unexpected circumstances befall them. Simon Van Booy's writing is simply beautiful and lyrical; I was both entranced by his prose and his wonderful storytelling skills.

What I also liked about this story is there is an atmospheric feel to it; it is an emotional-driven story that would make you pause and think about life, and the people around you. It definitely made me think a lot about fate.

I will have to check out the rest of Simon Van Booy's books after reading this.
9 Responses
  1. Marg Says:

    I am looking forward to reading something from this author. He certainly seems to be popular with several bloggers.

  2. Erin Says:

    I really enjoyed this one and thought, in particular, that the use of second person narration was interesting -- for me it had the perfect effect for the parts where it was used. I adore Van Booy's short stories, even though I'm not usually much of a short story reader, and I hope you'll get to check those out!

  3. Anna Says:

    I bought the book a couple of weeks ago after reading a few pages and thinking the writing was beautiful. Glad to see you enjoyed it!

  4. Darlene Says:

    I've seen this one around and was curious about it. Your review has made me more curious. It does sound like a good read.

  5. The Bookworm Says:

    I'm a big believer in fate. Everything Beautiful Began After sounds like a great book!

  6. Violet Says:

    Sounds like a very different and nice book, I don't believe I've ever heard of this author before.

  7. Staci Says:

    In love emotionally driven stories! I have a copy of this on my Kindle

  8. Kailana Says:

    I really enjoyed this book. I am looking forward to reading more from the author soon!

  9. I had never heard of this author until recently and now his name is popping up all over the place. I'll have to keep him on my radar as I love an emotional book that really makes you stop and think. Sounds beautiful.

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