Unabridged Chick

I'm Audra, a 30-something married lesbian. I love interesting heroines, gorgeous prose, place as character, and the occasional werewolf.

Everything Beautiful Began After

Everything Beautiful Began After - Simon Van Booy Another staggeringly delicious read, another review where I'm fumbling for the words to express how much I loved this book.In terms of plot, there's not much, technically: three young ex-pats meet in Athens, each hiding from a secret, hungry to loved. At the start, I was briefly apprehensive this would be just a love triangle novel, American pitted against Brit, fighting for the French girl -- but I was so desperately wrong. There's hardly a triangle, really, just three lonely people who love each other in differing degrees, wanting a family of their own. But loss figures in more greatly, and that's where the novel completely hooked me.This is certainly literary, philosophical fiction, but it isn't aloof or cold; the story and emotions are very accessible. The writing is poetic and brief, vignette-y at times, but there's still a creative playfulness that made this more than just a maudlin exploration of loss. The point-of-view shifts from third person to second person (I know, but it worked!); a chunk of the novel is told through a one-way correspondence, each page replicating a sheet of hotel stationary. I'm hesitant to say too much more about the story or characters, lest I give away something that is worth discovering on your own but I will say, each time I thought, 'now we must be done with the plot line, the rest will be pretty language', Van Booy surprised me with a small twist or revelation that cast the characters in a new light. Don't read quickly; savor this novel somewhere sunny (because this and a rainy day is guaranteed to provoke tears). I'm finished reading, but not done with this book; I want to linger a little and reread. Frankly, I'm hesitant to start anything else because I want the taste of this story to remain in mind.