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  • Writer's pictureGaili Schoen

No Two Persons

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister; releasing May 2, 2023

No Two Persons opens with this quote which illustrates the motor for the book:

“’No two persons ever read the same book or saw the same picture.’ -The writings of Madame Swetchine”

Alice Wein has been a reader and a writer since childhood. When tragedy strikes, 25-year-old Alice starts writing her book, Theo in earnest. Theo is a stirring book about a boy who swims in order to escape from his abusive father. As is often the story, every literary agent passes on the project, until her college professor contacts an old friend who has become a powerful New York agent. The agent passes the book on to her assistant who loves it, and the rest is literary history.

No Two Persons is a collection of stories about nine very different people who experience a wide variety of major life changes in response to the book: The agent’s assistant who is experiencing post-partum depression, a homeless high school student who is hiding out in a school garden shed, a 62-year-old widower who goes to take care of an abandoned hotel in a ghost town, the 76-year-old agent who brokered Alice’s book deal whose health is quickly deteriorating, and a bookseller whose scientist girlfriend doesn’t understand the point of reading novels:

“Science heard that fragment of a second and wondered how to make it fit into a whole. Fiction wondered what hearing it felt like.”

Each person’s story is heartfelt, unique, full of self-reflection and completely engaging, and I was riveted from the start.

Erica Bauermeister is a fine, veteran author. I loved her books The School of Essential Ingredients and The Lost Art of Mixing, but I think No Two Persons might be my new favorite. It is, in my estimation, one of the best books of 2023 so far, and I highly recommend it to both men and women who believe in the power of books to transform the reader.

Thanks to #NetGalley for sending me an arc of No Two Persons in exchange for an honest review!

Hardcover 320 pages, Audiobook 8 hours 11 mins.


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