A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak Two sisters--Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. Read more...
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A dazzling novel of two sisters and their emotional journey through love, loyalty, and heartbreak Two sisters--Miranda, the older, responsible one, always her younger sister's protector; Lucia, the headstrong, unpredictable one, whose impulses are huge and, often, life changing. When their mother dies and Lucia starts hearing voices, it is Miranda who must find a way to reach her sister. But Lucia impetuously plows ahead, marrying a bighearted, older man only to leave him, suddenly, to have a baby with a young Latino immigrant. She moves her new family from the States to Ecuador and back again, but the bitter constant is that she is, in fact, mentally ill. Lucia lives life on a grand scale, until, inevitably, she crashes to earth. Miranda leaves her own self-contained life in Switzerland to rescue her sister again--but only Lucia can decide whether she wants to be saved. The bonds of sisterly devotion stretch across oceans--but what does it take to break them? Told in alternating points of view, Everything Here Is Beautiful is, at its heart, the story of a young woman's quest to find fulfillment and a life unconstrained by her illness. But it's also an unforgettable, gut-wrenching story of the sacrifices we make to truly love someone--and when loyalty to one's self must prevail over all.
Song of a wanderer
An inveterate free spirit, Lucia Bok is a dreamer and a seeker. It seems her brain and body never stop wandering, taking her from her first breaths in Tennessee to college in New York City and itinerant stints abroad in Latin America and Vietnam. But to what end? During her South American travels, she stumbles across the answer: The object of her quest is encapsulated by a Spanish word, querencia, which means “a place we’re most comfortable, where we know who we are, where we feel our most authentic selves.” This one word will define the rest of Lucia’s life and the battle she faces when her capricious eccentricities transform into full-blown psychoses, forcing her and her loved ones to discover where Lucia—and her illness—truly belongs in the world.
Mira T. Lee’s debut novel, Everything Here Is Beautiful, is an astonishing and imaginative chronicle of mental illness and the unbreakable bonds of family. Taking readers on a journey from the halls of a psychiatric ward to the remote countryside of Ecuador, Lee examines the enigma that is Lucia through various perspectives, bringing together in a discordant symphony the voices of her sister, her husband, her lover and even Lucia herself (in both her lucid and agitated states). In shimmering prose, Lee nimbly unfurls a story that slithers like a serpent back and forth through time and across the threshold between what is perceived and what is real, producing a nuanced view of a complex woman and what it means to love her.
Everything Here Is Beautiful boldly delves into mental illness’s profound impact on love and relationships, exploring tricky quandaries like to whom the burden of responsibility falls and whether it is possible to separate an individual from her illness. There are no easy answers to these questions, and Lee does not pretend otherwise. Instead, she presents us with a sensitive and elusive story of sisterhood and schizophrenia that is brimming with another one of Lucia’s favorite words: saudade, a deep, melancholic longing for a person or state that is absent.
This electrifying first novel is wistful, wise and utterly unforgettable.