3 out of 4 stars
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John's move to Sweden seems to offer a chance at redemptive love. With a past filled with heartbreaks and unfulfilled dreams, perhaps his life would take a turn for the better. John is unapologetic about his faults and appreciates how he has grown, but life still has a lot in stock for him. Just like the tides of the ocean, his love life is turbulent, with its highs and lows. Love is gained and lost twice. How much can a broken heart genuinely take? Will John find meaning in the tragedies that assailed him, or will he be swept away by the tides? The Illusion of Forever by Rolf van der Wind follows John on his journey to realizing that 'happily ever after' are words for fairy-tale endings.
The Illusion of Forever is more than just a love story. It is about the twists and turns of life, the lessons we learn from the good, the bad, the ugly, and the struggle between the selfish ego and the romantic self. It is a highly personalized tale, slightly bordering on the philosophical with a poetic flair. The Illusion of Forever is the meeting point of realism and fantasy — a tale rich and inspiring and yet not devoid of sadness. John's personality, flaws, and hopes live through the pages. Perhaps, we might even judge his impulses. In the end, it is a story of one man's journey that speaks to us differently.
The beauty of this book is its narrative style. Although it might sound philosophical at some points, the straightforward descriptive manner, the purity of the dialogues, and the meaningfulness of everything make it an enjoyable read. The story isn't long, and the chapters are neatly organized. There is also an added beauty, especially in the dialogues, with the unique English pattern spoken by characters who aren't native speakers. In an ever-busy world, where people hardly find time, this book is a perfect fit for pleasure reading. The surprising turn of events is sure to keep the reader glued to the pages, and perhaps, valuable life lessons can also be learned.
The organization of this book is neat and concise. However, there are a plethora of errors therein. Apart from the grammatical errors, there seems to be an absence of cohesion in the sentence structures. The vocabularies are apt, but a certain mastery is missing. I often have an idea of what is being said, but the sentences don't seem quite right. This clearly shows the author's first language isn't English. Sequel to that, this book needs thorough editing by someone with a good command of English so that meanings aren't 'lost in translation.' One of the phrases I found particularly confusing is "a time ago," which was used in several places in the book. Many examples like this abound, and they interrupt the smooth flow of reading.
I will recommend this book to readers who are partial to realistic stories. There is an element of romance, star-crossed love, and a poetic resolution. Readers looking for something short and entertaining to pass the time will find this book a worthy companion. Finally, I will rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. Although navigating through the errors makes it a chore to read, its message is not lost.
The illusion of forever
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