Michele's Reviews > The History of Love

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
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's review
Oct 19, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended to Michele by: Book Club
Recommended for: Literary Fiction Fans
Read in October, 2008 , read count: 1

My Highest Recommendation
This tale is woven together so masterfully it’s nearly impossible to put down. The characters are rich, unique, and memorable in a way that has worked into my own personal history of the love of reading.

We begin by getting to know “the oldest man in the world,” Leopold Gursky. There’s an ironic aspect to “Leo” as he attempts to make himself known to the world everyday. He’s afraid he’ll die and no one will know he’s missing. This is, perhaps, the result of having to make himself invisible during the years of Nazi occupation . . . and for becoming non-existent in the life of his one true love, Alma, (who moves to America before him and marries someone else), and his son, who is a famous writer. Leo does this by making little scenes like knocking over displays in stores and interacting with his best friend “Bruno.” Meanwhile, he believes his first manuscript, "The History of Love,” has perished in a flood. It hasn’t. It’s been published in another language and under another name. His second manuscript has a similar fate and it’s amazing that author Nicole Krauss enables this plot twist to both break your heart and make it burst with love at the same time.

The History of Love inspires the naming of the other main character, Alma Singer, who at the age of 14, takes us on her journey to find not only the author, but the person requesting her mother’s translation, and the real life Alma. She’s primarily concerned with making her widowed mother happy, but also becomes wrapped up in the mystery that is The History of Love, and she ties everything together.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time for the exquisite writing, the unique characters, and the creative plot. My highest recommendation.

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10/19/2008 page 18
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