bookshelf: “the history of love” by nicole krauss

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This past weekend was one of those perfect, sunny, almost-summer, stay-at-home weekends that, every once in a while, you just crave. It has been a hectic few months with plenty of travel for work, trips to visit friends, drives up north to visit family, social engagements and volunteer commitments here at home, and as much as I love all of these things—and actually prefer thar my weeks and weekends be full of these things 99% of the time—I was ready for a low-key weekend at the apartment. I caught up on chores; I took my time at the gym; I did some cooking; I ran errands; and I spent hours sitting on my balcony with a drink soaking up the beautiful May sunshine and finally finished reading Nicole Krauss’ absolutely stunning novel, The History of Love.

Friends of mine can’t stop talking about this book, with many of them claiming it’s one of their all-time favourites, and I actually picked up a copy years ago just to see what all of the fuss was about. Like so many of the books I buy, this one has been sitting untouched on my overflowing bookshelf for far too long. I turned to it at long last a couple of weeks ago and, though it was a little slow to start, soon became entranced by Krauss’ intricate, poetic writing style and the heartbreaking but charming characters around which she’s created this tale. The History of Love is about many things: writing, art, immigration, family, friendship, heartache, loss, grief, time, life, death, and, of course, the beauty and the tragedy of falling in love and, ultimately, learning to let love go.

It takes some time to figure out what Krauss is trying to do, but once she hooks you, you’ll marvel at the heart and humanity at the core of each of her characters and the true delicacy with which she’s built their stories.

j.

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