- The Illusion of Separateness by Simon Van Booty
I am struggling to put words to my experience of this book. At times it felt like it was trying too hard. Or I was trying too hard...and I don't know if that's my doing or the book's or both (that brings up memories of literary theory, not a subject I enjoyed). I focused too much on trying to identify overlaps and spot connections that I sometimes didn't enjoy the journey of the read. Ultimately, I think the big connections do become clear enough that the extra focus wasn't needed, although I might have missed little pieces if I didn't keep the level of vigilance.
Trying to set that all aside for some other thoughts....I came to care about many of the characters, appreciating their human-ness and their desire for connection. Several of them pulled at my heart, always a sign of a good read. Van Booty clearly has a talent for words and the language is lovely. There's a lot of sadness and loneliness, but there's an underlying reminder of enduring connections.
It's a beautiful book, but it is very much trying to be....it feels a bit unfair to criticize that, but it did impact my reading experience. Three and a half to four stars (with thanks to Harper for providing me an advance reader's copy).