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The Secret Lives of People in Love

von Simon Van Booy

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1727125,632 (3.86)4
The first short story collection by award winning writer Simon Van Booy. The stories, set in NYC, Paris, Rome, Greece and the American South are atmospheric and compassionate. Love, loss, frailty, human contact and isolation are Van Booy's themes. In sweet, toned and measured prose he writes about the difficult choices we make in order to retain our humanity and about the redemptive power of love in a violent world.… (mehr)
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Looping, lovely, languid tales of love that don't insult your intelligence or come across as overly sappy. It's quite a feat to pull off, and this author does it with aplomb. I found myself looking at the world with more tenderness, sympathy, and grace after reading this. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
There were a few good stories here, but the language became tedious very quickly. Sometimes it's better to kill your darlings and simply say, "it was raining." ( )
  stochi | Jul 3, 2016 |
I liked this, but not as much as Love Begins in Winter (which only had five, longer stories). The shorter stories were harder to get into because they were over so quickly, and the writing was more flowery, almost a bit much at times. Still, many moments of beauty. ( )
  JennyArch | Apr 3, 2013 |
The Short of It:

Lovely and quiet.

The Rest of It:

This collection of short stories was sent to me some time ago. I can remember the day clearly. It arrived, I plunked myself down to read the first story, sighed and then placed the book on my nightstand. You might think it odd, but for me, it was the perfect reaction. The writing in that first story blew me away. I think I was a little bit awestruck and needed to take some time to process the beauty of the words themselves.

What happened next was odd, though.

I did the exact same thing every time I picked it up. There are nineteen stories and over the course of the year, I’d choose one to enjoy. Not every night (obviously) and not even every week, but whenever I felt like it. I just finished the book last month and it was such a pleasure to take the time to really enjoy this one.

These stories deal with people in love… or various stages of love and sometimes (often) loss. They are simply told, yet with beautiful, flowery prose. Here are some examples of the writing:

"This morning I woke up and I was fifteen years old. Each year is like putting a new coat over all the old ones. Sometimes, I reach into the pockets of my childhood and pull things out." (Little Birds)

"…her life, like a cloud, split open, and she lay motionless in a rain of moments." (French Artist Killed in Sunday’s Earthquake)

"Words fell from their minds like a rain of hard stones, snapping branches of blind desire, trapping the fresh blooms of feeling within the darkness of meaning."(The Mute Ventriloquist)

I really enjoyed peeling away the layers and enjoying this one in small bits. Although it wasn’t my intention to take an entire year to read it, reading it this way seemed proper. These are not stories to rush through. This was my first experience with Van Booy’s writing but it definitely won’t be my last.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter ( )
  tibobi | Dec 15, 2011 |
This book forces you to fall in love.
Then quickly you must go.

I was compiling a list of my favorite stories from the book but the list grew too long. If you appreciate short stories and have a soul then I highly recommend this book to you. ( )
  tap_aparecium | Sep 28, 2010 |
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The first short story collection by award winning writer Simon Van Booy. The stories, set in NYC, Paris, Rome, Greece and the American South are atmospheric and compassionate. Love, loss, frailty, human contact and isolation are Van Booy's themes. In sweet, toned and measured prose he writes about the difficult choices we make in order to retain our humanity and about the redemptive power of love in a violent world.

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