Sunday, September 12, 2010

History of Love

I finished Nicole Krauss' The History of Love on my flight from Toronto to Vancouver last Wednesday. 

I was wary of it when I first started after so recently finishing Everything is Illuminated - Holocaust books always leave me a bit drained and I find I need something light and maybe a little happy afterwards to ease the mood. 

Anyway, I wasn't sure what The History Of Love was really about so just before starting, I googled it.  And that's when I stumbled onto this article in the NYT and found out that Nicole Krauss is married to Jonathan Safran Foer.  It didn't make me feel any better about reading it since I was rather disappointed by EII, but by then, I was too lazy to get out of bed to pick another book.

In the end, this was a much better read as the story - a mystery that is solved in the end - was more complete in its telling.  While part of it does take place in WWII Poland, the horrors of the Holocaust aren't really referred to explicitly - at least not as far as I was concerned - so I didn't feel as spent.

From the back cover:
Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother's loneliness.  Believing that she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York, an old man named Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who, sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book. And although he doesn't know it yet, that book also survived: crossing oceans and generations, and changing lives....

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