The Vacant Space
Reviewed by Nicollette Violante for Reader Views (02/15)
“The Vacant Space” by Jaime Perez follows the life of Thomas Silva, an introverted and reclusive man in his thirties who is ridiculously rich, lives a life of solitude and dedicates himself to anonymously helping strangers. Thomas’s mother died while he was still in diapers and he grew up with a distant, but kind and caring father, who he also lost before he turned eighteen years old. His inheritance is so much that Thomas does not need to work to support himself, and lives a frugal and simple life. Thomas wants to live anonymously and alone, and is terrified of human connection, but his acts of generosity and kindness do not go unnoticed and soon everyone begins to take notice and begins to care about Thomas.
Through seemingly inconsequential acts of kindness, Thomas’s life begins to open up and he must decide whether to seize this new path or to continue on his lonely one. A touching and sweet novel with a great message, “A Vacant Space” shows the value of sharing your life with others and the importance of sincere human connection, and that no generous act of kindness goes unnoticed.
My only issue with “The Vacant Space” is that we spend so much time in Thomas’s head; there is hardly any dialogue between Thomas and other characters, and the pacing of the novel is slow. However, it only makes sense that the entirety of the novel takes place in Thomas’s mind, considering that he is a recluse. The novel doesn’t really pick up until over a hundred pages into it, which makes it difficult to focus and continue reading. “The Vacant Space” by Jaime Perez is well written and has a sweet message; I just found it to be too slow. I would recommend this book to anyone, as I found the last few chapters to be bittersweet and heartwarming.