Sunday, February 14, 2010

Fiction February Part III-The History of Love

As I finished this book, I realized Part III of my fiction series would be aptly ready for posting on February 14th. It is a work of fiction that you will want to read slowly because the words are like perfect poems. They will beg you to savor them. I couldn't put the book down, but I had to. Each portion of the story makes you gasp a little, and you realize that reading a book like this fast is like chug-a-lugging fine wine. This book is a perfect reflection on the age old tradition of love. It is a story about a story and how it found its way from a corner of Nazi occupied Poland to present day New York.

The characters we meet are sweet and memorable. The writer of the story, Leo Gurskey is an old man with nothing except secrets and memories. The girl seeking him, except she doesn't know she is seeking him, is Alma, the name doppelganger of Leo's long ago lost love. The final meeting of the two main characters at the end made me choke a tear or two. An unsuspecting love story of sorts that crosses the ages.

This is the kind of book that warrants re-reading in places because the names and connections can get tangled and confusing. There are also a few love stories and threads that remain unresolved which broke my heart, but ultimately, this book is about fine and perfect writing. This is the novel we all wish we could write. Nicole Krauss inhabits the psyche of her main characters perfectly. You know and love them all within an instant.

Honor your valentine by giving them a copy of The History of Love or better yet, read it aloud to them. It will take your breath away.


Steph said...

OK, I'm sold!

Anonymous said...

The WWF(A)C book group read this last summer, and most of us loved it. It required some re-reading, as you note, to gather all the strands and pull them together, but the characters, and their circumstances, were haunting. Great review! MKP