‘Where They Hide Is a Mystery’ by Simon Van Booy

Title: ‘Where They Hide Is a Mystery’ by Simon Van Booy
Collection/Anthology?: The Secret Lives of People in Love (Beautiful Books)
Date Read: 25 August 2010
Briefly: Grieving the loss of his mother and escaping an intolerable atmosphere at home, a young son takes secret trips across 5th Avenue to a bench at the end of a grove in Central Park, which holds much sentimental value to him.
Afterthoughts: Again Mr. Van Booy has moved me greatly with another touching story that deals with the processes and consequences of loss. This time the story is from the perspective of a young son who not only has to deal with the loss of his mother at a young age, but also, as a consequence, the gap that is widening in the relationship with his father. As you can imagine this makes for a tale that’s heartbreaking. But at the same time this actually turns out to be a very uplifting tale too. And this is mainly down to Van Booy and his incredible ability to paint optimism from a palette that contains only death and grief. Did you know for instance that people don’t die in Simon Van Booy’s world, they simply change clothes? What a remarkably positive way to look at death, and it couldn’t come from a more remarkably talented writer.

Rating: ★★★★½

This story was read as part of a review of Simon Van Booy’s collection, The Secret Lives of People in Love. If you want to find out more about this collection then I invite you to either swing by my ‘forethoughts’ post, or to visit the product page on the publisher’s website; The Secret Lives of People in Love is published in the UK by Beautiful Books, and in the US by Harper Perennial.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn’t bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).