BookBrowse Reviews The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Illusion of Separateness

A Novel

By Simon Van Booy

The Illusion of Separateness
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jun 2013,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Jun 2014,
    256 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

The Illusion of Separateness intertwines the stories of unique and compelling characters who - through seemingly random acts of selflessness - discover the vital parts they have played in each other's lives.

Van Booy is a writer who pays homage to language. In his 2010 interview he said, "A writer is someone who feels a spiritual connection to the way language contains the fabric of our lives." This connection is evident on every page of his new novel, The Illusion of Separateness. He takes the quotidian details of event and setting, and with sparse, lyrical phrasing, makes them shimmer. With language that slips easily between the mundane and the ineffable, Van Booy's work reads like a long, beautiful prose poem that unfurls in a single exhalation.

Wending its way through time (1944 to 2010) and place (USA, France, and England) the novel weaves together lives that at first glance appear to be separate. Thematically and metaphorically, what binds the characters together is that each of them is missing something. In a sense, the novel unfolds and comes together in the spaces of ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Join Today


Member Login


Library Patrons

Beyond the Book:
  Operation Carpetbagger

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  132Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.