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The Everlasting

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  19 reviews
From a supremely talented author comes this brilliant and inventive novel, set in Rome in four different centuries, that explores love in all its various incarnations and ponders elemental questions of good and evil, obedience and free will that connect four unforgettable lives.

Spanning two thousand years, The Everlasting follows four characters whose struggles resonate
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published March 24th 2020 by Harper
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  47 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Im going to try my best to be short on words so I dont give anything away. Thats not the easiest for me! Plus, I really want to share this book with you.

First of all, I love that cover. It captivates me, and I love how rich and bold it is, suiting the feel of the book. In a nutshell, The Everlasting is set in Rome during four different centuries and spanning two thousand years. Epic, right? But this isnt a history text book. Its "a story of love in all its forms. The time periods are today, The
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Review to come
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
I think this was good literature that just wasn't a writing style that I like. Too many times a character wasn't given a name, or she hopped around chronologically (within a story), so it was hard to tell what was going on.
Maggie Rotter
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Four eras. Four sets of characters, each of whom could support a novel. An omnipotent watcher whose identity soon becomes clear. The Everlasting started slowly for me, likely because one more troubled modern marriage didn't immediately grab me. But as layers of narrative settled like sediment and objects appeared linking stories, I was hooked. Highly recommended if you enjoyed Cloud Atlas, Wolf Hall, Jim Crace,s Harvest.
Jan 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Unique precedent which made for an interesting read.

this was a goodreads giveawy
Dec 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*I received this in a giveaway here on goodreads so I'm reading an advance reader's edition. Keep that in mind. I'm also going to keep it vague in order to avoid spoilers!*


Love comes in different forms, but it's something we all desire. In this book there are four different stories that all show the boundlessness of love.

It's hard to pick a favorite section, but I absolutely loved the writing of the main character in the The Paradise section. The author really captured the feeling of being
Sarah Beth
I received an uncorrected proof copy of this book from HarperCollins.

This work of historical fiction follows four individuals across four centuries, all centered in Rome, all exploring love in all its forms. In 2015, Tom, an American biologist conducting research in Rome, is conflicted by the slow death of his marriage. In 1559, Giuilia de'Medici is a beauty saddled with an unwanted pregnancy. In 896, Felix is a monk tasked with managing the decaying bodies of his fellow holy men and years of
Emily Grace
Thank you so much to the author and publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions are my own.

Jesus, young lord, lord closest to my age but Cupid, hear my confession: I'm not loud enough. I'm not bad, except in small ways, but my goodness is awfully quiet. Does that count as sin? Will you make me thunder-loud? [...] Is that what you meant by lifting the weak? I'm not a slave, I'm not a dead man waiting to be reborn, I'm not a leper or a whore. But let me tell
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
*I received an ARC for a fair and honest review*
This book was a beautifully written exploration of what it is to be human, to desire, to feel, to live, to age, to die. Each of the chapters created a singular character exploring their humanity in their own way, through their own failures and successes. There is Tom, sick of his life, but not of his daughter. Giulia, caught in her own notoriety. Felix, reminiscent of a past he can't hold onto. Prisca, a girl becoming herself. I particularly liked
Kayla Mckinney
Mar 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
In "The Everlasting." Katy Simpson Smith has her four characters (all in different time periods) grapple with what the everlasting really is. Is it love? The sole? Reputation? Art? These characters are poetic, philosophical, and complex as they ponder, which requires the reader to slow down and digest them on two levels: the actions that take place and affect the other characters in the work and the internal world they navigate unseen to any but the reader. In short, if you're after something ...more
Kathleen Gray
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four people, all in Rome, in four different time frames, bring fresh light to love and faith. The story is told in reverse historical order- starting with Tom in 2015. Because it is told in reverse, the connections between the characters, who each has a distinct issue, is not immediately obvious (except for the city). There's an outside narrator of sorts whose contribution is provided in brackets; I found this a bit distracting initially but by the end saw why Smith had done it. Thanks to ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting take on the persistent trend of novels with multiple narratives. I was invested enough in each to keep going, but also not sure any storyline would have warranted a full novel...or, to spin it differently bc it really isnt a bad thing, needed a full novel. I was most invested in the modern storyline and could have done without much of the monk's tale.

A solid four stars. Which is stronger than average but not love it territory for me. Felt a bit more experimental than it really
Vernon Luckert
Review is of a free ARE from Goodreads. Interesting read. I enjoy historical writing, and author is a historian. It does not take away from the story, but I wonder how much is actual history and how much is literary license. I probably would have written chronologically from earlier to later dates; but the approach of the author was likely more effective. Gave 3 star rating as this story was not my overall favorite style, but that is a reflection of personnel preference and not quality of this ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways-won
I won this from Goodreads.

I only got one chapter done, and just couldn't read it. I know I am not in the majority, but that first chapter was so confusing to me. It skipped from person to person, without me knowing who it was talking about. I also don't know Italian, so when the author had someone say something in Italian, I had no idea what they were saying. This book my be for you, but the writing style is not for me.
˗ˏˋ maddie ˊˎ˗
Mar 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-wins
full disclosure: i received an arc through a goodreads giveaway

2.5/5. the writing on this was dense and tangled and never gave way to a good flow (though occasionally it did manage a well-said insight) and considering this was a book that was more about the journey than the destination, it felt like the journey should've been a more even and pleasant one to be on.
Sarah Pick
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
So I feel really horrible. I wanted to like this book, the summary sounded amazing. Unfortunately, I could NOT make it past page three. It's not my type of writing style. I'm going to hold on to the book though and maybe try again in a few months. Hopefully I'll be able to change my review.
Jane Meneely
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I tried to read this. But it jumped around so much - and I couldnt follow what was going on. Im sure its a lovely story and well-written, just not for me.

Thank you Goodreads for the ARC.
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stories wheelbarrowed down a potholed pathway of flawed love 'round the fecund pond in history's horribly funded public park. The cartoon-strength attitudes of the four (or five) wonderfully constructed main characters gave me the strength to accept each of their fates with que seras and a sigh.
Hannah Hester
rated it it was amazing
Feb 13, 2020
Taylor Brown
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Mar 23, 2020
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Mar 28, 2020
Jenny Mcintire
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Mar 28, 2020
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Laura Mattson
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Dec 07, 2019
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Katy Simpson Smith attended Mount Holyoke College and received a PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. She has been working as an Adjunct Professor at Tulane University and is the author of We Have Raised All of You: Motherhood in the South, 1750-1835. Her debut novel, The Story of Land and Sea, was published by Harper ...more

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