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BookBrowse Reviews The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith

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The Everlasting

by Katy Simpson Smith

The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith X
The Everlasting by Katy Simpson Smith
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Mar 2020, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Rachel Hullett
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Spanning 165 AD to 2015, The Everlasting tells four separate stories set in Rome, each connected by richly developed themes of religion, temptation, and morality.

Broad and ambitious in scope, The Everlasting endeavors to capture the history and spirit of Rome across generations. It opens with an epigraph from the poem "Adonais" by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

"Go thou to Rome—at once the Paradise,
The grave, the city, and the wilderness."

The plot begins in 2015 with a section titled "The Wilderness," which introduces us to Tom, an American field biologist studying a group of crustaceans called ostracods. Though still married, Tom spends his days alone while his wife is back in California with their daughter, and reflects on the failed state of their marriage. This novel is dense at times, and Tom's sections offer little reprieve; the crumbling marriage and allure of an enigmatic Italian woman a sort of clichéd setup that doesn't feel like it quite earns its length, or the reader's investment. This section does, however, establish ...

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