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Van Booy's sentimental second collection deals heavily in the neuroses and personal traumas of his characters. The longish title story follows Brunno Bonnet, an emotionally debilitated cellist with a fondness for stones who encounters Hannah, a bird-obsessed shop owner with a fondness for acorns. In the beautiful The Missing Statues, Max, a young diplomat is reduced to tears at the edge of St. Peter's Square in Rome as memories of childhood in seedy Las Vegas overwhelm him. In the excellent The Coming and Going of Strangers, a multigenerational story of heroism, tragedy, love and family finds its roots with Walter, a Romany Irish gypsy who falls in love with a Canadian orphan girl. Though Van Booy's tendency to deliver a late-story surprise becomes predictable, each of these stories has moments of sheer loveliness. (May)
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In the five impressionistic stories in Van Booy’s latest collection, following The Secret Lives of People in Love (2007), the author continues to develop his highly original style and his overriding theme of isolation versus connection. His characters are often terribly lonely, so much so that when they do find love, it is treated as a miraculous occurrence. Haunted by the memories of dead loved ones and able to readily access the intense emotions of childhood, his characters seem to be not quite of this world. And yet, they are able to express in the most unguarded and heartfelt language their innermost fears, hopes, disappointments, and victories. In “The City of Windy Trees,” George Frack learns, seven years after the fact, that a one-night stand with a Swedish waitress has produced a child. He quits his job and flies to Sweden, eager to meet his child and to turn what might have been a nightmarish situation into the single most important thing that ever happened to him. More about what is felt than what happens, Van Booy’s stories pay beautiful homage to human connection. --Joanne WilkinsonSee all Editorial Reviews
The book is slim, and yet it's packed full of emotions and evocative writing. It's truly beautiful how Simon van Booy is able to write so beautifully although he uses many... Read morePublished 8 months ago by neha
There was both a pleased and let down feeling when arriving at the end. The possibilities for Hannah and Bruno are so salient yet so far from reach, and so I had questions... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cynthia Conard
In the book ‘Love begins in winter’, the season is a metaphor for the state of mind of its protagonists. Love finds two strangers in the midst of their blues. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Samir Satam
For a short story, it is beautifully crafted. It is beautiful to see the author's view on life and other similar things. Very intriguing. I highly recommend it.Published 17 months ago by Jadore
Wow! Another great read! My only complaint is that the story ended too soon, although I admit it ended perfectly. The author's stories tend to just end, with a bang - no warning. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kat A.
I love this kind of book and it was so well done that I had to review it and say so. Great book.Published 23 months ago by CAP
I loved this book. The author describes characters and their feelings in such detail that your imagination is racing. Read morePublished on October 5, 2013 by Carla Kleinwachter
This was a most satisfying short story to read......beautifully and thoughtfully written, fleshing out just enough story line to prompt introspection and imagination in the reader.Published on August 16, 2013 by A Fortune