This elegant and moving novel by British author Simon Van Booy should be on everyone’s short list of must-reads. It tells the story of five people in different times and places. They move through their lives unaware of their connection to the other characters. The connections between them become apparent as the novel unfolds. Of course the final piece of this puzzle becomes apparent only at the end.
The characters are complex and original. The settings in which we meet them are portrayed vividly and realistically.
The novel bounces between France in 1944, New York and Los Angeles in the present, rural France in 1968, and England in 1981. You would think that this would result in a disjointed mish-mash, but it never does. The story flows smoothly and evenly, with much emotion simmering below the surface.
The Illusion of Separateness is short and powerful. And I will be re-reading it tonight!
Published in hardcover-Harper-2013