S.G. Browne

Fiction Friday – The History of Love

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is a poignant, touching, heart-breaking, and funny work of art. There. That’s all you need to know. Now go out and read it. What? You need a little more to convince you? Okay, fine.

“When they write my obituary. Tomorrow. Or the next day. It will say, LEO GURSKY IS SURVIVED BY AN APARTMENT FULL OF SHIT.”

So begins The History of Love, a literary novel told in alternating chapters from the POV of octogenarian Leo Gursky, teenager Alma Singer, and, to a lesser extent, Alma’s would-be Messiah younger brother Bird and a tormented writer named Zvi Litvinoff.

The beauty of the novel lies not only in the prose but in the deft manner in which Krauss seamlessly weaves together the story lines of her characters. You feel for them. You root for them. You imagine running into them on the street. And in the end, you’re sad to see them go.

If you’re looking for plot and action and are one of those readers who needs to have something happening by page 50, you’re not going to get that here.  What happens is what transpires as you get to know the characters and you discover what they’ve loved and what they’ve lost and how they go about trying to get it back.

Without giving too much away, The History of Love is about a book within a book. It’s about what that book meant to the people who read it and the person who wrote it.  It’s about love and relationships and what people mean to one another.  And it’s about finding what you need, even if it’s not what you set out to find.

Filed under: Fiction Fridays,Movies and Books — Tags: , — S.G. Browne @ 9:21 am