Review: The Illusion of Separateness

While in many ways we can dismiss the social media platform of Twitter as a mindless way to alleviate office drudgery, A Reader's Respite has to admit that at least half of the books we seek out originate with one little Tweet.  Such was the case with Simon Van Booy's new novel, The Illusion of Separateness.  We might never have read this little gem were it not for Bookfoolery extolling it's virtues on Twitter. (The moral of this story is that if you loved a book and want others to read it and feel all that mushy book-love, get to Tweetin'.  It works.)

In this short novel, Van Booy shows us how even the most subtle acts of kindness reverberate not only through space but also through time.  From a B24 pilot shot down over Nazi-occupied France to a modern day film director to a German soldier and a dozen others in between, the author delicately weaves together the seemingly unimportant fragments of our lives.  One decision, one insignificant kindness...Van Booy  demonstrates the power of our actions. Perhaps most important is the demonstration that these repercussions are not always immediate but can materialize years - even generations - later.

Sounds deep, doesn't it?  It is.  Van Booy manages to avoid the gaping chasm of sentimentality, thank goodness, by clinging to brevity.  One gets the impression that this is, undoubtedly, an important novel with an important message - it deserves to be read over and over again.  And at only 224 pages, you will likely want to do so.

Title:  The Illusion of Separateness
Author:  Simon Van Booy
Publisher:  Harper
Pages:  224
Source:  Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Harper

Rating: we're going with 4 stars here.


  1. bermudaonion(Kathy)June 24, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    I've yet to read Van Booy but I've seen lots of people tweet about his writing. I feel like I need to try his work.

  2. I need to get this new one - it sounds AMAZING!! Loved your post!!

  3. On my shelves. Must read. I hoard his work.

  4. I way prefer the cover you're featuring than the one for my copy! Wasn't this an amazing book? So gorgeous.

  5. Wasn't it wonderful? Not at all what I was expecting.

  6. Rain,adustbowlstoryJune 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Wow. The expression on that woman's pale face.

    As a writer, I rarely add books to my list--but this one goes on.

  7. Emmanuel chimezieJuly 9, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    the book is amazing, i love his write up , he is really doing a great work. visit for more

  8. I love Simon Van Boy and cannot for the life of me explain why I haven't picked this one up yet. I must! He is a wonderful person, too. I've met him twice. Sigh. I'm glad a Tweet tempted you. Off to buy this one...

  9. I just read this and loved it. I'm excited to dive into his backlist.


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