Simon Van Booy
We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Martin. Mr. Hugo. Sebastien. John. Amelia. New York, France, England, Los Angeles. A Nazi soldier, a baker; an orphaned baby and a U.S. fighter pilot. Writer Simon Van Booy tells their stories in a series of (seemingly, at first) unconnected narratives, from pre-war Germany in 1939 to present day California. The tone is evocative and their memories shimmer in Van Booy's hand. This is a book to be read simply for its beauty. The lovely language, for one. Like this: "Rain says everything we cannot say
You can take away from the title and the epigraph that the character's stories lap along the edges of each other. It would be a shame to tell you their stories, though. The volume is slim and my guess is that you'll be compelled to read it in one sitting as I was. And then, as my friend Denice warned me, turn right back to the beginning to start all over again.
We, one day, will be vanquished with a last puff and then nothing. Nothing but the fragrance of our lives in the world, as on a hand that once held flowers.