In the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of their eldest daughter, a once-golden family prepares to leave behind the seeming paradise of Brazil for the safer, more pragmatic shores of Canada. But as the family counts down the days to their departure, secrets and betrayals surface, threatening their hopes for a new life.
Brazil, 1962: A young woman walks into the waters off a crowded beach and vanishes. A year later, her family - the once-golden family of their privileged little community - prepares to leave behind the seeming paradise of Brazil in the wake of their eldest daughter's presumed drowning. As they attend a series of goodbye parties and count down the days to their departure, we are taken into the heart of a family whose many charms belie more troubling truths.
There is the family's charismatic father, whose emotional extremes are becoming increasingly disturbing; his long-suffering wife, who made a mistake that has shattering consequences for the family she meant to protect; and their two remaining daughters, both on the precipice of joining the adult world with all its secrets and lies. Then there is the lost daughter herself, a woman undone by her attempts to grasp at happiness.
With settings ranging from the opulence of the legendary Copacabana Club to the poverty of Rio's fishing villages, this sensual and beautifully written novel reveals the soul of a family living in the shadow of tragedy, one poised on the brink of a new life, if only they could make peace with the past.
Sarah Faber received an MA in Creative Writing and English Literature from Concordia University. Her writing has appeared in Matrix and Brick. Originally, from Toronto, Sarah now lives in Cape Breton with her husband and their children. All is Beauty Now is her first novel.
Winner of the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for Fiction
Praise for All Is Beauty Now:
"All Is Beauty Now is as redolent and lush as a garden in Rio. Sarah Faber performs a poetic conjuring act of loss, love, and redemption in this haunting novel." —Ann-Marie MacDonald, author of Adult Onset
"Part mystery, part family drama, All Is Beauty Now is a vivid and gripping debut about the pain of living with those among us who burn more brightly and delve deep into the dark. Moving deftly from character to character, Sarah Faber unravels a veritable Gordian knot of family ties, revealing what it takes to stay by a loved one who lives life in extremis—as well as what it takes to cut free." —Alissa York, author of The Naturalist
"At once an intimate family portrait, a mystery, a romance, and a stylistic tour de force." —Johanna Skibsrud, Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning author of The Sentimentalists
"At first blush a deft, kaleidoscopic chronicle of a family's grief after the disappearance of a 20-year-old daughter off the shores of Rio de Janeiro, All Is Beauty Now is an unflinching look at the pervasive effect of secreted mental illness. Like the brilliant swirl of Carnival, the Maurer family's story possesses multiple layers of both splendor and affliction. I lost myself in its white sands, birds of paradise, and madness." —Anne Korkeakivi, author of The Shining Sea
"This novel felt alive in my hands as I read it; the writing thrilled me, the setting transported me, and the characters broke my heart. In All Is Beauty Now, Sarah Faber has achieved the rare feat of mixing both gorgeously poetic prose with a plot so absorbing I could hardly look away from its pages. Faber is an important new voice in fiction, and All Is Beauty Now is a masterful and stunning debut." —Amy Stuart, author of Still Mine
"For the reader, beauty illuminates every page, the loveliness of Faber's prose bringing light to even the darkest turns and twists of the Maurers' story, like stars across the night sky. A magnificent, compassionate, and beguiling novel from a great new talent." —Rebecca Silver Slayter, author of In the Land of Birdfishes
“[A] powerful family novel exploring the twin dangers of romanticism and nostalgia.” —Globe and Mail
“Phrase to phrase and sentence to sentence, Faber has given us a luminous, finely written account of a family’s estrangement from itself and from what it reverently dreamed of.” —Winnipeg Free Press