” This magisterial follow-up to A Little Life offers three books in one . . . Yanagihara weighs up damage and privilege – social, emotional, political, colonial in a gripping, immersive ride through alternative Americas.”


Just finished To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara. This long novel is told in three different parts. They are not really related, but the names of the characters often remain the same throughout the book.
This alternate history is told in three Sections, 1893, 1993 and lastly 2093. In this new idea of America all the states are no longer together, and the main idea is that marriage is available to any and all, so many men and women marry each other, many through arranged marriages. This is the main theme of the first two parts of the book.

Part one is about a young man who lives with his wealthy Grandfather, who is trying to find a suitable match for his grandson. The grandson has other ideas.
Part two is about the aids pandemic, and a long history about the characters
Part three, the most interesting in my opinion is about a future age that exists in an age of constant pandemics and a repressive Government. Skipping back and forth in the recent past and future, many of the characters here work in the scientific arm of the government. Here also, while homosexuality is not condemned, it is frowned upon because of a need for procreation. The story here is sometimes riveting, partly because of what we have experienced in the last two years.

While I felt the book was too long and the first part especially could have been a separate book, the third part makes the book a worthwhile read.
A word of warning to those readers who may be offended by reading about same sex love and marriage, you might find the book uncomfortable, but in truth, these are stories where if the the same sex characters were changed to heterosexual characters, you would be fine with the stories.
Too long but saved by the final part of the book.


Reviewed by:

Richard Franco

Added 20th October 2022

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