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.
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.”
“Then I brought the only piece of my heart to Italy, tired and dull, and a boy thought it was enough and it was.”
“There, I’d think to myself: this could be your life. But it wasn’t. Because my wild, wild heart, the broken one, wanted other beings in other forlorn dots on the map.”
“New York beckons but the air in this hotel room on the fifth floor is thick with sleep, regret, and him.”
“They say Rome is meant to be lived on rooftops. I think it’s meant to be lived in the in-between, the dash, the dot, dot dot… like those moments right before you see each other across the lit piazza when the tension and the anticipation are so high that all you can hear is the sound of your own heartbeat and the voices of all your friends back home asking how could you possibly fall for him.”
“We talked about missed chances and about chasing love. The rain let up. By the time we reached the last stop, he had decided to do the chase for real, and I was euphoric, enraptured, enchanted. Not because of an entire day on a Swiss tram with a boy with the bluest eyes, but because I was there when a perfect stranger decided to take a risk for love.”
“The fact was, I didn’t love him more than all the sunsets in the world I haven’t seen yet.”
“You driving fast in the Nevada desert, my hair a mess and that kind of impossible feeling of being lost and found all at once. That’s the us I miss the most.”
“I left because I couldn’t escape the memory of you that haunts all my favorite places.”