Everything Beautiful Began After

Everything Beautiful Began After

4.0 12
by Simon Van Booy
     
 

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“Apowerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty ofone’s own fate. This is a novel you simply must read!” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of Townie

FromSimon Van Booy, the award-winning author of LoveBegins in Winter and The Secret Lives of People

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Overview

“Apowerful meditation on the undying nature of love and the often cruel beauty ofone’s own fate. This is a novel you simply must read!” —Andre Dubus III, New York Times bestselling author of Townie

FromSimon Van Booy, the award-winning author of LoveBegins in Winter and The Secret Lives of People in Love, comesa debut novel of longing and discovery amidst the ruins of Athens. Withechoes of Nicole Krauss’s The History of Love and CharlesBaxter’s The Feast of Love, Van Booy’sresonant tale of threeisolated, disaffected adults discovering one another in Greece is thecompelling product of an inquisitive, visionary talent. In the words of RobertOlen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a StrangeMountain, “Simon Van Booy knows a great deal about the complex longings of thehuman heart.”

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Van Booy, a Frank O'Connor International Short Story award winner (for Love Begins in Winter), offers a tender, earnest first novel, in which flight attendant Rebecca Baptiste moves to Athens, Greece, where she meets George Cavendish, an American with a passion for languages and drinking. Their romance blooms quickly, but when Rebecca falls for a Welsh archeologist named Henry, George drinks so much that he stumbles in front of a car—Henry's car. Without knowing what they share, Henry tends to George's injuries, cementing an immediate and long-lasting alliance. But some time later, George sees Rebecca with Henry, and the shock of recognition leaves these three sensitive souls shaken, snapping George into sobriety and sending Henry adrift. When Henry finally returns two years later, after a devastating earthquake, both he and Athens have changed dramatically. Finally, his discovery of a journal that may have belonged to Rebecca makes him wonder how well he knew her. The rhythms of Henry's tender, damaged heart propel the narrative, and Van Booy wisely resists romanticizing torment, instead suggesting that grief—tied as it is to fate and faith—can give way to promise. (July)
Daily Candy
“[T]he exquisite prose and heartbreaking (but never hopeless) emotional honesty make it a worthy read.”
San Francisco Examiner
“Van Booy’s writing rings with the proverbial pithiness of Oscar Wilde, the elegance of F. Scott Fitzgerald, the clarity of Graham Greene and the wit of Evelyn Waugh, conjuring a strong voice full of poetic, timeless grace of which much of the contemporary literary scene is starved.”
Daily Mail (London)
“There is...an integrity to [Van Booy’s] vision and a haunting element in his portrait of friendship and, ultimately, resolution.”
Metro (London)
“Vivid and meticulous...the floweriness of his prose is skillfully balanced by his short, precise sentences. Intriguing.”
Portland Press Herald
“Van Booy’s writing seduces from the first page….He is a hugely gifted writer. More vitally, he has something to say.”
Wall Street Journal
“A swift and engaging story...”
Passport
“Beautifully written, touchingly told, Van Booy radiates pain, fears, love and freedom on every page of this book.”
Open Letters Monthly
“How lovely to encounter a grownup romantic in Simon Van Booy….[He] is a lovely writer, and Everything Beautiful Began After is a kind book.”
Irish Times
“Atmospheric and anchored in its place. A book that is timeless but not rootless. Everything Beautiful Began After is highly sophisticated and absolutely sincere.”
Austin Ratner
“His prose is music, and his characters are warmhearted, gentle, bemused, philosophical beings….It’s as if Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 30 has unfolded into a full-blown novel.”
Andre Dubus III
“If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marguerite Duras had had a son, he would be Simon Van Booy; this is a truly special writer who does things with abstract language that is so evocative and original your breath literally catches in your chest. This is a novel you simply must read!”
Robert Olen Butler
“Already a new-generation master of the short story, Simon Van Booy has now emerged as a newly minted master of the novel as well….Van Booy is a writer whose work I will forever eagerly read.”
Emma Straub
Everything Beautiful Began After both creates and satisfies a feeling of wanderlust. Van Booy’s confident prose carries the reader over oceans and back again, into archaeological digs and airport hotels, and the romance at the center of the book stays vivid long after the story is through.”
Library Journal
Crimson-haired Rebecca has left behind a job at Air France and a life that's stuttering out like a candle to settle in Athens and work at becoming a painter, drawing on the memory of the mother who abandoned her and her sister as children. Socially maladapted, relentlessly soused, but indisputably brilliant—he breezed through college early after lonely years at a New England boarding school—George is in Athens to perfect his grasp of ancient languages. Rebecca falls carelessly into a brief affair with George but takes up passionately with Henry, a charismatic if troubled archaeologist in Athens on a dig. Then Henry unknowingly befriends George, and together they end up working together on the dig. But this is no idyll; the dark backstories crafted for each character by first novelist Van Booy (Love Begins in Winter) presage a crushing tragedy that changes the landscape of their lives forever. VERDICT Readers who like to zip through the pages might find this precious or overextended, but those with a little patience will be taken in by the carefully etched stories and lyrically precise and inventive language. A lovely book for sophisticated readers.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062079497
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/05/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
416
Sales rank:
221,646
File size:
3 MB

What People are saying about this

Emma Straub
Everything Beautiful Began After both creates and satisfies a feeling of wanderlust. Van Booy’s confident prose carries the reader over oceans and back again, into archaeological digs and airport hotels, and the romance at the center of the book stays vivid long after the story is through.”
Robert Olen Butler
“Already a new-generation master of the short story, Simon Van Booy has now emerged as a newly minted master of the novel as well….Van Booy is a writer whose work I will forever eagerly read.”
Andre Dubus III
“If F. Scott Fitzgerald and Marguerite Duras had had a son, he would be Simon Van Booy; this is a truly special writer who does things with abstract language that is so evocative and original your breath literally catches in your chest. This is a novel you simply must read!”
Austin Ratner
“His prose is music, and his characters are warmhearted, gentle, bemused, philosophical beings….It’s as if Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 30 has unfolded into a full-blown novel.”

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