Farewell, Everything

Fiction - General
332 Pages
Reviewed on 09/23/2020
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Author Biography

Véva Perala is the pen name of writer, artist, and Pacific Northwest native H.B. Cavalier. Through the dream-like lens of magical realism, her fiction explores life, death, and the human condition.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Farewell, Everything is a work of fiction in the supernatural, magic realism, and horror sub-genres, and was penned by author Véva Perala. This lavishly tragic and bittersweet tale does contain some themes which certain readers may be sensitive to, such as drug usage, discrimination, death, and violence, but the content is more imagery based than outright graphic. Our central protagonist is Osha Oloreben, who has been through some difficult times already as a runaway and is a somewhat naïve and sensitive soul. So when he finds himself deep in the surreal world of Valena city, it becomes even harder to know who to trust, and what exactly he has given away under the false promise of peace at last.

Author Véva Perala has crafted a gorgeous and literary expression of sorrow, suffering and self-discovery in this poignant exploration of our soul’s deepest fears and desires. Readers who strongly identify with the fear and pain of a character’s emotional journey are sure to get a lot out of the lovingly crafted Osha and his arc of development. For a magical realism piece, there is just as much plot as there is poetry, and there are plenty of stylish and intriguing characters who we can get to know and analyze as a reflection of Osha’s emotional state, and indeed a representation of our own feelings and problems in the wider world. Overall, Farewell, Everything is a highly resonant novel which I would recommend to fans of accomplished literature and surreal, philosophical works.

Ruffina Oserio

Farewell, Everything by Véva Perala is hard to confine to a single genre. At times it reads like a psychological thriller, then oftentimes, it has shades of the paranormal but overall, it is a thrilling narrative that follows a character in search of himself. Osha Oloreben is a street performer who experiences the worst in the city of Valena—illness and despair. He has known adversity, but nothing compared to the vicissitudes he faces in this city. He wants to survive and will do anything that will lead him towards a life of dignity. He meets a cast of sophisticated and mysterious characters — rebels, mystics, ghosts — but who can he trust? As his journey continues, he is pulled between different forces: love and deception, trust and self-doubt, life and death. But can he redeem himself before it is too late?

I didn’t know Farewell, Everything was going to be such a delightful ride. The author weaves a story with characters that are believable and the novel explores the pain of the protagonist. From encounter to encounter, readers follow a broken soul in search of wholeness. The pathos is strong and exacting as is the humor, moving the reader from one miserable experience to the next experience of excruciating pain. Yet the writing doesn’t lack when it comes to realism and the humanity of the characters. The author plunges readers into the psyche of the protagonist and allows them to feel the erratic rhythms of his life. The twisty plot leads to an exciting denouement that left me thrilled and satisfied. Véva Perala made me care about the characters, especially the protagonist, in this tale of insanity and a longing for healing and identity.

Jose Cornelio

Farewell, Everything by Véva Perala follows the story of an unusual protagonist and takes readers through different phases of his journey through suffering to healing: utter denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and redemption. And that makes it a deeply human story, and everyone’s story as well. Osha is a street musician who leaves the nomads and drifts south, arriving in Valena with few belongings and losing a lot, including photographs, clothing, and a whole bottle of pills. He had imagined that going solo would make a huge difference to him, but now life has become increasingly difficult, surrounded by people who are manipulative and abusive. He is slowly being driven insane by the suffering, the abject poverty, and the lies he’s repeatedly told. Can he find a way to face his truth, reclaim his dignity, and inner freedom?

This novel is engrossing and has strong psychological underpinnings. The writing is diligent and exceptionally good. The diction is just perfect and one gets the feeling that each word is weighted and calculated to fit into the sentences. The descriptions are terrific and right from the opening pages the author explores the frame of mind of the protagonist and signals the troubles he is in. The novel follows a process of healing and explores the different phases that people go through when they are deeply hurt, starting from disbelief and denial to acknowledging facts as they are, and then finally to acceptance. The narrative is humorous and emotionally rich. I found myself pitying the protagonist, then laughing at him, then cheering for him. Farewell, Everything contains descriptions that capture the experience of the protagonist with forensic clarity. Véva Perala is not just a good storyteller but an author who creates characters that readers can actually feel.