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
  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 224 pages
    Jun 2014, 256 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

Buy This Book

About this Book



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 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 emptiness or ...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and "beyond the book" articles are part of the many benefits of membership and, thus, are generally only available to subscribers, including individual members and patrons of libraries that subscribe.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Beyond the Book:
  Operation Carpetbagger

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.