Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

15 Nov

Plot: While delivering a message to her father, Florentino Ariza spots the barely pubescent Fermina Daza and immediately falls in love. What follows is the story of a passion that extends over 50 years, as Fermina is courted solely by letter, decisively rejects her suitor when he first speaks, and then joins the urbane Dr. Juvenal Urbino, much above her station, in a marriage initially loveless but ultimately remarkable in its strength. Florentino remains faithful in his fashion; paralleling the tale of the marriage is that of his numerous liaisons, all ultimately without the depth of love he again declares at Urbino’s death. – Library Journal

Florentino Ariza has never forgotten his first love. He has waited nearly a lifetime in silence, since his beloved Fermina married another man. No woman can replace her in his heart. But now her husband is dead. Finally – after fifty-one years, nine months and four days – Florentino has another chance to declare his eternal passion and win her back. Will love that has survived half a century remain unrequited? – Amazon

I have only heard of this book from the John Cusack film ‘Serendipity’, it was this book that the character of Kate Beckinsale (who believes in fate) gave to Cusack, signed with her name and phone number, that if he finds this book again, they were meant to be together. I have not read that many books in my life but I am on a mission to read the best ones and it seems that everytime I browse Amazon, this book by Gabriel Garcia Marquez always makes the top books to own/read list so my curiosity aroused, I ordered the book and decided to read it whilst I was finishing up my essay on for my AMA module. It didnt take quite long to finish, just under 12 hours spread on 5 days.

I truly enjoyed it. Most times I had to pause and think of my own life, what if this story ever happened to me? Do I deserve that kind of love? Am I really worth the wait? I had my own misgivings when it was apparent that Florentino would not be completely faithful with all his many liaisons whilst waiting for Fermina, she rejected her, what can the man do? You see the characters grow in front of you, and its like looking at your own life and what lies ahead. And then it is also more of a look on the myths of love, not just between Florentino and Fermina but the other characters that touch their lives. I thought that the use of cholera here in a literal sense is apt, as the time period the story was set was during the cholera outbreak in the war, and its symbolical use as it describes somebody’s symptoms of being in love as similar to that of having the disease.

I doubt if the film version which is currently in production will give justice to the book, I fear for film adaptations not living up to expectations, but this book without doubt deserves all the accolades.

Love in the Time of Cholera: ****

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3 Responses to “Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera”

  1. Peter November 29, 2006 at 8:01 pm #

    It sounds wonderful. I will read it as soon as possible, as it’s at home. Don´t ask…

  2. Simone November 30, 2006 at 12:32 am #

    It would be fun telling me your favorite pages of the book and reading it to me in Spanish! Vale! 😉

  3. shang December 4, 2006 at 3:21 pm #

    crumbs. i was just talking to vivian about this book. i saw it at books for less last month! i will catch up i promise ;p

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