Author: Nicole Krauss
The History of Love focuses on two central characters who lead separate lives and are unaware of each others existence.
Leo Gursky is Polish and in his youth wrote a book where he named the female character after the woman he loves. Having survived World War II, Leo moves to New York and lives his life in quiet existence as a locksmith after realising that he cannot live the life he dreamed of with the woman he loves. Now an 80 year old retiree, Leo lives a lonely life and does whatever he can to get noticed.
The second central character is Alma Singer, a fourteen year old girl who is named after a character from her parents favorite book, The History of Love. She sets out to investigate more about the book; The History of Love after her mother was hired to translate it. Her efforts lead to both her and Leo converging towards the end of the book.
Actually, there are a lot of characters involved in this book other than Leo and Alma that play a pivotal role to the storyline. You'd need to really focus on whats happening or risk losing track of how things ended up the way it did.
The History of Love carries an interesting mix of themes like love, loss, regrets and also the desire to be recognized or remembered. It took a while for me to appreciate The History of Love but what stood out most for me from the book was Leo's character. How the book ended for Leo haunted me long after I finished the last chapter of the book; it was heartbreaking and I can't help but feel sorry for him.
Overall, the History of Love was just okay for me. Other than the ending, I found it a bit of a struggle to read the book because there were too many things going on. I like my books simple I guess. The History of Love turned out to be just an okay read for me.
Challenges: 100+ Reading Challenge