The Secret Lives of People in Love: Stories

“Breathtaking. . .chillingly beautiful, like postcards from Eden. . .Van Booy’s stories are somehow like paintings the characters walk out of, and keep walking.” -Los Angeles Times

In his critically-acclaimed debut collection of short stories, The Secret Lives of People in Love, Simon Van Booy explores the sway of fate and power of memory on the lives of lonely and vulnerable people. With the same spare, economical prose that he brought to his subsequent collection, Love Begins in Winter, winner of the 2009 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award, Van Booy creates a profoundly humane and somber resonance with the assured hand of “a first-rate storyteller” (Newsday). The Secret Lives of People in Love announces the arrival of a major new voice in fiction.

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By Christine (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · July 04, 2007
AHHHHHH! Someone found a way to put it into words! YES! ...more
By Minnie (New York, NY) · ★★★★★ · August 30, 2007
Rarely have I found a book that begs to be read and re-read, and then read all over again. But, this one does just that.

It is almost like a fine wine... you inhale (it) gently, swirl it around just a bit to observe its delicate colours, and then take the first tentative sip. With each sip, it bec... ...more
By Kelly · ★★★☆☆ · January 10, 2008
This was a very quick, easy read. I wasn't hurrying or devouring the book, and I still finished it in two days. The stories and pages slip away very easily.

I'll start off with the things I like then, hmm?: there were some stories that did work for me. I really liked "Apples," about the Russian s... ...more
By Taylor (Windsor, VT) · ★★★★☆ · November 04, 2014
An incredibly moving and touching collection of short stories, all about different kinds of love and its being tested.

Usually a story will incorporate several kinds of love - friendship, family, romance, and compare the two.

A rather large number of the stories show love overcoming some sort of ob... ...more
By Andi · ★★★★★ · October 17, 2007
This book is simply breathtaking. It's a collection of short stories about regular people with mostly ordinary lives. Somehow Van Booy makes every simple detail come to live with his poetic writing and astute observations. If you read no other short stories this year, please give this book a go. ...more
By Vishy (Madras, India) · ★★★★☆ · December 16, 2012
I discovered Simon Van Booy’s ‘The Secret Lives of People In Love’ through a review of the book that I read. Reviewers raved about the book and it left an impression with me. I remembered it suddenly a few weeks back and so thought I will get his books – there are just three of them – and read th... ...more
By Derek (Holland, MI) · ★★★☆☆ · May 16, 2010
I was so taken by Simon Van Booy's Love Begins in Winter that I decided to go to his first collection of stories, The Secret Lives of People in Love. As you can see, Van Booy likes love, which says quite a bit in today's world. This collection garnered praise and gathered fans, but it lacks the c... ...more
By Finola (Perth, 08, Australia) · ★★★★★ · April 15, 2013
Ok so this book literally changed my life! My boyfriend picked it when we were in The Strand in NYC because of the amazingly cute title and when he opened to a random page and started reading a random sentence I fell in love all over again, with him and the book!
This is the best book I have ever... ...more
By Basma (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia) · ★★★★☆ · July 19, 2014
(4.5) I really loved this. It's rare that I read a book that's a collection of short stories and I end up enjoying it as much as I enjoyed this one. I liked his writing, and some of the stories in here are so heartwarming. One of the stories in particular reminded me a bit of a character in one o... ...more
By Jason · ★★★★★ · June 20, 2014
Beautiful. Simon Van Booy's sentences are, as Junot Diaz would say, so sharp, they cut the eye. ...more