Is Love a Place? ‘Wander(lust)’ by Jasmine Mah Brings Us Closer to the Answer

Kalea Martin
Oct 2, 2020 · 4 min read
The Italian Plaza, Ron Hicks

Wander(lust), the debut novella of Canadian author Jasmine Mah, simply put, is a written journey through the soul of every hopeless romantic and hopeless wanderer.

In this reflective first-person narrative, Jasmine Mah manages to capture ephemeral glimpses of love stories that read like an impressionist painting, with simultaneously as much and as little detail, color, sound, and feeling as Monet’s Jardin des Tuileries.

Jardin des Tuileries — Claude Monet

Jasmine Mah allows us to experience the memories and aesthetics of people and places, in a way much like “stumbling upon a faded photograph.” These memories in fact, may as well be our own — at least that’s how she makes us feel, punctuating each sentence with nostalgia, lovesickness, and of course, wanderlust.

Mah’s portraits of relationships hit close to home — literally, because the love stories she shares in Wander(lust) seamlessly intertwine people with places near and far from home. Her words leave us questioning if relationships are defined by places, if love itself is a place, and if coming, leaving, and wandering is driven by the people we encounter in those places.

By the end of this must-read book, you’ll get the chance to experience each of the “one thousand and one lives” that are made possible, according to Jasmine Mah, through living with an open heart.

For a preview of Wander(lust), please enjoy the following excerpts, paired with impressionist paintings spanning from the 19th century to present day — love is timeless, after all. To order your own copy of the book, click here.

“He has eyes the color of my home; the dark forest green of pine trees that cover Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, with flecks of amber as if someone had splashed a bit of Italian sunshine into them.”

Catching the Light, Moraine Lake — Suzanne Sandboe
Welcome Advance — Ron Hicks
Street Scene with Woman, Berlin — Lesser Ury
Rainy Evening in New York City — Marco Alexander
The Italian Plaza — Ron Hicks
Paradeplatz, 5:30pm, Zürich — Milos Petkovic
Sunrise — Claude Monet
Desert Highway — Michael Creese
Lovers in a Cafe — Gotthardt Kuehl

Life is Lit.

Life as/in literature

Kalea Martin

Written by

An editorial writer and linguist with a background in trade book publishing and a B.A. in Romance Languages & Literature.

Life is Lit.

Insight on our lives in the context of our literature: re-examining the classics in light of contemporary culture.

Kalea Martin

Written by

An editorial writer and linguist with a background in trade book publishing and a B.A. in Romance Languages & Literature.

Life is Lit.

Insight on our lives in the context of our literature: re-examining the classics in light of contemporary culture.

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