About half way through reading Jessica Moore's savagely sad Everything, now I started to weep. Bone cracking, voice distorting sobs, while sitting at my desk in my lovely room on a beautiful sunny morning. I had to quit reading until I could quit crying.
Why the tears? It is the same old sad story. Girl meets boy, they fall in love, boy dies, girl grieves. A story as old as Romeo and as overused as Juliet.
Jessica Moore has made her grief universal in Everything, now. What I mean, and the failure to properly explain this lies with me and not this loving book, is that her grief is personal but her telling of it universal. Moore, by allowing us to almost feel her mourning in a tangible way, connects to every reader who has ever felt loss.
Moore frames this narrative of loss with a series of excellent quotes from her own translation of Jean-François Beauchemin’s Turkana Boy. These short passages, lines, are the drawstring, pulling tight closure to the tapestry of survival employed by Moore.
Moore never intended to turn her lover's death or her mourning into art but we must be thankful she has. Everything, now is as Jane Urquhart says:
"a moving testament to a much-loved partner and, by extension, to all those who have died far too soon."
Everything, now (an excerpt)
And I believed when I woke that this was what your letter was saying
to me: be awake, taste everything; and I thought, maybe I got it wrong
when I said everything, now, becomes a letter to you, the sun on this
spider's web, the mornings moored to seabirds - maybe I got it wrong
and everything, now, is a letter from you.