Published by Harper Perennial, 2011 *****
To say I devoured this book is an understatement – I ferociously consumed it in just over 24 hours. I was so enamored with the language, the plot, and especially the characters. Simon (yes we’re on a first name basis, we’ve actually met) has a gift with words that I haven’t encountered in quite some time. Elegant, but not overdone, his prose has a simple beauty that feels effortless. One example is the concluding sentence of a chapter, after the three main characters are caught in an exquisite moment: “Around them, at unthinkable speeds, planets tilted their bodies of fire and ice.”
Simon brings Athens to life through the eyes of French artist Rebecca, American linguist George, and British archeologist Henry. The way their lives intersect is so cleverly executed, and the tragedy that befalls them is written with perfect anguish. Every element of this divine novel is praiseworthy, so I’ll stop gushing about its brilliance and encourage everyone I know to grab a copy.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.