The Secret Lives of People in Love is the second collection of short stories by Simon Van Booy published by Beautiful Books in the UK. Van Booy won the 2009 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award for his first collection which I loved, and I couldn’t wait to read these new stories set in New York City, Wales, Cornwall, Paris, Rome and Greece. As the title suggests, the stories explore the private feelings and memories of individuals experiences of love.
And it is exquisite. There really isn’t a better word to describe the latest collection of short stories. Tales of love and loss are beautifully written, with the emotions flowing off the page and into your heart.
I am in complete awe of the mastery of a writer who can express the depth of a love between a man and woman, and the heartbreaking sadness of loss within the confines of a story that is only a few pages long, but Simon Van Booy achieves just this.
The first book of his short stories I read was Love Begins In Winter, and these ranged from 25 to 70 pages in length. Although there are some longer stories in The Secret Lives of People In Love, they are on the whole much shorter in length, some just a few pages long. In fact, my favourite, “The Reappearance of Strawberries” is only three pages, but heartbreakingly poignant.
A truly wonderful book that has shot to the top of my favourites for this year.