Excerpt from The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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 by Simon Van Booy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 224 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2014, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt



He stopped attending classes.

He read until his eyes were unable to focus.

He was outside the library when it opened and worked until closing. When the director found out what he was doing, she gave him a space in the staff refrigerator. He requested books with titles no one could pronounce. Every photograph was a mirror.

The semester came to an end, and he went home to Los Angeles.

His parents knew he would find out eventually, but couldn't tell him anything new. His small clothes had been too soiled to keep.

He went to the beach with his sister and watched her swim. He sat on the stairs and listened to his family watch television. He took long drives in the middle of the night.

He worked at the family café. They sold croissants and fruit tarts in boxes tied with blue-and-white twine.

One afternoon, after making deliveries, Martin returned to find the front door of the shop locked with the blinds pulled down. After entering through the back door, he was surprised to find the kitchen in darkness. When he reached the counter, the lights came on suddenly and a roomful of people shouted, "Surprise!"

Everyone was dressed up, and there were balloons tied to the chairs. People kissed him on the cheek and forehead. Many of the customers he'd known for years were there, and some of the men wore yarmulkes. Music came on and people clapped.

Martin was stunned. "I don't understand," he said. "Has something happened?"

"We just thought we'd give you a kind of coming-of-age celebration," his mother said.

"It's tradition in many cultures," his father added.

After that, Martin's story was told at every dinner table in Beverly Hills.

  • 1
  • 2

Excerpted from The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booy. Copyright © 2013 by Simon Van Booy. Excerpted by permission of Harper. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Operation Carpetbagger

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Before We Sleep
    Before We Sleep
    by Jeffrey Lent
    Katey Snow, aged seventeen, leaves home one night. "There was a void within her and one that could ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Hermit
    by Thomas Rydahl
    If you can be comfortable with Scandinavian noir played out against the sun-drenched backdrop of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Radium Girls
    The Radium Girls
    by Kate Moore
    In 1915, Austrian-born Sabin von Sochocky developed a luminescent paint that used radium to create a...

Win this book!
Win News of the World

News of the World

A brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Weight of Ink
    by Rachel Kadish

    An intellectual, suspenseful, and entertaining page-turner.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T's S I Numbers

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood

A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound by a stunning act of human devotion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.