Patricia's Reviews > The History of Love

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
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's review
Feb 16, 08

bookshelves: to-reread, good-modern-fiction, read-in-2008, read-in-2014
Read in February, 2008

Most novels I read are stories. That is, they have characters and a plot and plot devices and everything gets wrapped up in the end. They are sort of like real life, but not really. Real life never really wraps up as neatly as novels. You meet the guy, you find each other and pledge love and at the place where the novel of your life would end there comes a whole life of dishes that need to be done and bills to be paid and work to go to. Even on gray rainy days.

I loved this book because it was a slice of life. In real life people may never know what happened to this or that dropped plot line in their life. They may know each other. They may have said goodbye forever only to discover each other, by chance decades later. They may have a chance meeting with a stranger that connects dots for them. Or maybe everything is murky.

I loved this book because Leo Gursky, the character we meet first, is such a force of nature. An old man, retired locksmith in New York City, never married, who carries a note in his wallet explaining he has no family and where to bury him. Seeing the world through his eyes is a reason to read fiction.

Other characters were also wonderful. I can't say enough about this book. I don't even resent that someone the same age as me could create such a perfect thing. Read it.

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