Katy Simpson Smith
March 24, 2020
The Everlasting is a unique novel. It is comprised of four, loosely-connected stories spanning two centuries, all set in Rome. We hear from a modern-day biologist, a Christian child martyr, a medieval monk, and a princess—all of them pondering philosophical questions about love, relationships, identity, faith, joy, and meaning.
I really enjoyed Free Men, so I was excited to read The Everlasting. I’m so disappointed to say that I absolutely hated this book. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood, but I found it to be clunky, confusing, and pretentious. I was never able to feel connected to the characters or to the story. And I think the main reason for that is because the story isn’t meant to be the focus. The questions are the focus, the pondering. It’s a “let’s get in the van and drive” novel, and books like that always irritate me.
BUT for the people who enjoy that sort of thing—and I can see plenty of other reviewers on Goodreads who do—you may very well love this book. I am still giving it two stars, though, boo.
Thank you to Harper and Net Galley for the ARC!