Review: Everything Beautiful Began After

Posted 25 May, 2017 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Everything Beautiful Began After
By: Simon van Booy
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Rebecca is young, lost and beautiful. A gifted artist, she seeks solace and inspiration in the Mediterranean heat of Athens – trying to understand who she is and how she can love without fear. George has come to Athens to learn ancient languages after growing up in New England boarding schools and Ivy League colleges. He has no close relationships with anyone and spends his days hunched over books or in a drunken stupor. And then there is Henry, an accomplished young Welsh archaeologist who spends his days devotedly uncovering the city’s past as a way to escape his own – a past that holds a secret that not even his doting parents can talk about.

As these three lost and lonely souls wander the city, a series of chance encounters sets off events that will forever define them, in this powerful portrait of friendship and young love.

I have been eyeing this book for years, I don’t know why I didn’t pick it up sooner. I suppose I figured last year that it was high time I picked the book up so here I am, having read it at long last and reviewing it.

If you follow me on Instagram or on Litsy (username: eclecticreading), you may have seen me post about this book and mention that one page in, I was already in love:

It is stunningly written, he really captures that sense of being lost, of wandering, of trying to make sense of life and relationships. It’s like poetry, reading his words. I filled quite a number of pages with some of the quotes and passages from this book, they were quite wonderful:

The passions we cannot control are the ones that define us. – p. 37

Love is like life but longer. – p. 160

The story itself was interesting, following these three lost souls as they navigate through Athens, their paths crossing, and all the things that happened afterward. I admit, there is one particular event that I was not expecting and it sets off the course of the remainder of the book. Suffice to say, and it doesn’t mention it in the blurb, but loss plays a major theme in the story that’s meditated on.

For such a beautifully written novel I find it difficult to write this entry as it’s really a book to submerge into and just discover for yourself. I still can’t believe it took me this long to get around to reading it but I’m glad I finally did. I can’t wait to get around to reading his other books 😀

Rating: ★★★★★

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