Everything Beautiful Began After - Simon Van Booy


I love the way Simon Van Booy uses language, and particularly enjoyed The Secret Lives of People in Love His words sing. But there is a large portion of this book that just didn't work for me.

The prologue is a thing of beauty, and Book One is a heartbreaking joy of beautiful prose and gorgeously flawed characters. Not much happens for most of it, but it's utterly compelling. 

Book Two is where my infatuation began to wane. There was a sudden switch from third person to second person narrative. It grated, because "you" is actually "Henry" And instead of making me feel closer to him, it forced a distance that wasn't there in the third person narrative. 

It might have worked for me if it was just done for the period of the dramatic event that happened at it's beginning - Henry's shock and disorientation reflected in the way I responded to the change in pronoun - but it continued throughout both Book Two and Book Three and I ceased to care. Until Book Four and a return to third person narrative.

I am almost certain that the jarring disconnect caused by the switch of narrative styles was intentional and it's very cleverly done. But it is cold and calculating where the rest of the story is warm and human and incredibly beautiful.

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