The History of Love

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Leo Gursky taps his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he’s still alive. But it wasn’t always like this: in the Polish village of his youth, he fell in love and wrote a book. . . . Sixty years later and half a world away, fourteen-year-old Alma, who was named after a character in that book, undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With virtuosic skill and soaring imaginative power, Nicole Krauss gradually draws these stories together toward a climax of “extraordinary depth and beauty”.

This book is definitely in the running for my favorite book of 2013. Just a beautiful, beautiful novel.

Exactly the kind of thing you don’t want to be reading when you’re trying to edit your own novel. But I digress.

This is a novel I can see myself reading over and over. I’m actually itching to read it again because the storyline is a little confusing. It’s told from multiple viewpoints, in different styles, during different points of history, and all scrambled together.

But somehow, it just works.

Without giving much away (because really, you should just go read this book) I liked all of the characters, all of their individual stories, and how they pull together into a whole. I especially love the chapters that were dedicated to Alma Singer. I like the style of tiny vignettes. And the sections that were purported to come from The History of Love were also amazing. I wish it was a real book I could go off and read and die happy reading.

But most of all, I loved how quotable this book was. You could drop it open to any page and find something worth underlining. Truly. Nicole Krauss is an amazing writer and I look forward to reading more of her work.

I also think I just found a new literary hero.

Side note: Someone recommended this to me and I have no idea who. If you think it was you, please let me know!!

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5 thoughts on “The History of Love

  1. I wish I felt the same way about this book when I read it but sadly I did not. When I began reading it, I had high hopes based on reviews from others, however, I found it really boring. For such a small book it was painful to finish in my experience, which I did not expect. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mind set at the time when reading it and might like it down the road, but for now I am in no mood to try it again.

    1. I agree…I think you need to be in the right mood for it. It’s a particular frame of mind, that is for sure. But of course, not every book is for everyone 🙂

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