Even though I have to consult other websites to confirm my understanding of the book, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Krauss' lead characters are exquisite and captivating and, best of all, do not require verbosity to garner those accolades!
Beautiful, rich, painful, satisfying. Love and loss and longing. I'll reread this whenever I want to pine and moon.
It loses one star for being too digestible. The first time I read it I fell in love, it was my very favourite... and then a week later it was gone. This book is delicious, but it doesn't linger.
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. The characters were well developed and the storyline was complex. It would be an interesting book club choice.
I read this book in one day in one sitting. Now days later I am still reading it in my heart .
In this novel, an obscure, stolen translation of a Spanish book called
The History of Love connects two New Yorkers. Leo is an elderly immigrant who fled WWII Poland, settled in New York City, and pines for his lost love and his son. Alma is a teenage girl caring for her widowed mother and her brother. Alma convinces herself that the key to her mother’s happiness is locked within the pages of The History of Love.
My second reading of Nicole Krauss' The History of Love was just as visceral as it was the first go-round, just as rewarding as well. To really do its job, a tale of loss depends on likeable losers. Krauss' collection of unrelated characters are all ones for whom a reader can feel sympathy. The aging Leo Gursky suffers not only the loss of the love of his life and the contact of his only son, but the theft of a book, which for him represents the very quiet but fundamental wish to avoid total invisibility. Beyond the compassion generated by the untimely loss of their husband/ father, the Singer survivors all show enviable courage and intelligence. Even the plagiarist, Litvinoff (like Gursky, a Holocaust survivor) commits his crime in quest of love, in part from ignorance and in part from desperation. Krauss builds suspense by letting her four POV characters each hold keys to the solution without any interest in a common goal—a situation that continually teases the reader with the unlikely possibility they will be able to help solve each other's problems. They are ships that not only pass each other in the dark, but that are in constant danger of running aground. Regardless of who Krauss might be married to or if there are similarities to other works of fiction or if the lack of an omniscient character to walk the reader through the plot requires some effort, this is a powerful story of survival that tiptoes between tragedy (isolation) and comedy (union) so deftly, so gracefully I will resist the temptation to spoil the outcome.
This book is a bit confusing. As you follow the stories of Leo, Alma, and Bird you are given glimpses into the life of Leo's book 'The History of Love'. I found myself confused at times and having to think about the clues the novelist had let slip to figure out just what I was learning. Alma is very persistant in her search for her namesake, the heroine of the book, and her connection to the real author is like a butterfly touching down and then fluttering up and away again. I did enjoy the search with her and the glimpses of the minds of all three of them. A very intriguing, beguiling book. I was reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close at the same time but had to stop because I was getting confused as the two story lines are so similar. I didn't realize the authors are husband and wife. They must have discussed their works in progress and cross-fertilized ideas.
It was sad but good
One of my all time faves! Heartbreaking, lyrical and sweet all at the same time.
Quite convoluted. Often funny.
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