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Love

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  268 ratings  ·  50 reviews
Catherine si accorge di Christopher mentre assiste alla quinta replica dell'Ora immortale, recitato davanti a una platea semivuota. È un giovanotto esuberante, dalla chioma rosso fiamma. Lei è una donna minuta nascosta sotto il cappello. Quella sera si ritrovano seduti accanto e tutto sembra preludere a una perfetta storia d'amore. C'è però un problema: l'età. Catherine è ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Penguin Books (first published 1925)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  268 ratings  ·  50 reviews


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Chrissie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember, many years ago, falling in love with Elizabeth Von Arnim’s writing as I read every one of her books that Virago republished. Back then I read library copies, and years later I started to collect her books for my own library, secure in the knowledge that I could happily read them over and over again.

‘Love’ was one of the most elusive titles, and even though many of the details had slipped my mind I remembered that it was a particular favourite, that it had an especially striking cover
...more
classic reverie
How do I Love Thee, Elizabeth von Arnim, let me count the ways! That is how I feel about Elizabeth and her stories! I still have many more reads of hers to go but know I am going to love them all and the reason being is her insight into life and our human weakness and strengths.

"Love" is a novel that I wished I had read in my youth, so I could compare my thoughts then with my middle aged self, now. Catherine, one of the main characters, is 47 years old and even though I am 6 years older, I coul
...more
Phrodrick
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Elizabeth Von Arnim’s heroine in Love was too conventional to think of herself as retaining any qualities that might attract a man. Catherine is a widow of ten years and if not happy in her role as a not very popular mother-in-law and soon to be grandmother she is resigned to perform this role. Most of her life she has been whatever the conventions of her time and place have demanded of her and if not happy than at least earnest.

Her not yet out of her teens daughter has been swept up by the lon
...more
Sera
Jun 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just read the 1925 hardback 1st edition of Love, by Elizabeth Von Arnim, that I found in a box of books from my grandparents’ house. I enjoyed this book for many reasons. The simplest of reasons was that it was a happy diversion from the other book I’m reading, which details the suffering of Sudan’s “Lost Boys” during and after a brutal civil war. The more complex reason I enjoyed the book is that I found it to be a very true account of love.

The main element of this story is its critique of so
...more
Grier
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's hard to believe this book isn't better known. I loved it, especially what it had to say about the efforts of women to look younger. There were some very funny parts, too. Highly recommended.
Ali
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Catherine Cumfrit and Christopher Monckton, meet at a production of a play The Immortal Hour, playing to reduced audiences, the pair have each attended numerous performances. Recognising each other among the dedicated followers of The Immortal Hour Catherine and Christopher move to sit near to one another. Christopher is pretty much immediately smitten, Catherine aware of his interest is flattered. Christopher is twenty-five, Catherine is in her mid-forties, a young looking widow, with a newly m ...more
Bree (AnotherLookBook)
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
A novel about a younger man who pursues an older widow, much to the chagrin of their friends, family, and society in general. 1925.

Full review (and other recommendations!) at Another look book

A book with a straightforward plot that carries a powerful punch. I wouldn't recommend it if you can't handle the slower, delicately crafted type of book. But if you CAN handle that type, then this book is a must read! Von Arnim clearly had some things she wanted to say on relationships, age differences, an
...more
Mairi
Apr 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel I have read at least twice before. It is a very unusual and worthwhile book. At times laugh-out-loud funny, and at others so touching as to draw tears. It is about a young man of about twenty-five who falls in love with a woman twenty years older than he is, but that is only the very beginning of it. Definitely one of my favourite novels of all time.
Sharone Powell
Aug 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book explores how a big age gap influences a relationship, one in which the woman is quite a bit older, and the other in which the man is older. It seems much harder for the older woman, who becomes obsessed with her looks to hide her aging from the younger husband, while the older man seems to be free of any critique by his young wife, his aging wholeheartedly accepted.

The biggest problem I have with this book is that one is never sure upon what young Christopher's great love for Elizabet
...more
Chrystal
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book not so much about love as about ageing. Catherine is 47, a mother and soon-to-be grandmother. Christopher is 25 and madly in love with her. His love for her makes her young again, but the prejudices of society and her anxiety over keeping their passion alive soon make her even older than she was. Elizabeth von Arnim drew upon her own experiences to write this book, having had a romance with a man 30 years her junior. She knows exactly what Catherine is going through, all of which ...more
Katrina
Feb 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I loved Love, which was based on von Arnim's own experience of having a love affair with a man who was 30 years younger than she was. All of the relationships in teh book are between couples who have a very large age difference between them. The storyline points out the different attitudes between the sexes - it being accepted that men can marry very much younger women and nobody bats an eyelid, but when women do the same thing then people are scandalised. Enjoyable but at the same time sad.
Sally
Dec 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I recall really enjoying this book - Elizabeth Von Arnim was wildly popular in her day, and I can see why. Her stories draw you in...even though nothing too terribly out of the ordinary happens! Kind of like Jane Austen.
Richard
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Elizabeth, and this is one of my favorite of her books. The beginning is soooo charming, and the protagonist is adorable. Oh. It's about a woman and a younger man. It's gorgeous.
Morag
Mar 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This novel was way before it's time. Such a great exploration of human nature.
Terry Southard
Nov 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was not quite what I expected. I expected a frothy little love story, but there was much more here than meets the eye in the beginning.

It is about love, indeed. But it is also about the expectations of society. It's about aging and the changes that come with it. The ending was not what I anticipated as I read along. von Arnim had things to say underneath that froth.

Worth the read.

As a postscript: It was surprising to me how much has changed, at least in some ways, since the 20s when t
...more
Ravi Singh
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
A story of its time, in early 1900s an elderly lady is in a relationship with a much younger man, the social norms don't allow it but it happens anyway. How do they deal with it, read to find out.

It's ground-breaking for its time so its a Virago Classic and rightly so. A feminist literature stalwart too I believe and very resonating in the modern day when despite the prevalence of such relationships its still the woman who faces a certain level of stigma, not the man.
Jane Gregg
Apr 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quirky little number from 1925 that sort of has one foot in the century prior and one in its current time. Catherine, our heroine, is the vehicle for much insightful play and in the very capable hands of her author, is an engaging focus for the moral lessons to be rolled out (not in a bad way - this is not preachy).
Thatmostpeculiarmademoiselle
After looooving Elizabeth & her garden, I decided to read Love. I mostly enjoyed it, especially the humourous tone of some scenes with Virginia and Stephen. The beginning was well-written, with the seduction taking place between the main protagonists. However, I got a bit bored and thought the plot was getting longer and longer. Still enjoyed it overall! ...more
Sasha
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
What an excellent story. I thoroughly enjoy Von Arnim's style of writing: the shifts of narrative between characters, the repetition of words or phrases, and her excellent humour throughout.

While funny and enjoyable, this story was also thought provoking - with an ending I am still reflecting on.
Lyn Johnson
This book was quite a surprise. Although set in Britain in the early twentieth century and full of overly pompous and polite characters the themes and questions raised are contemporary. The author herself sounds like a fascinating character and I will certainly be reading more of her books.
Greensnowfall
Nov 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A superb story filled with wisdom. The audiobook narration by Eleanor Bron is the best I’ve heard of any work of literary fiction. The writing is masterful. Why this author is not more celebrated is an underserved mystery.
Katie
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic, fiction
This is a near-perfect book! It was both funny, sad and poignant. The characters were so well drawn. I don't think I'll ever forget it!
Jemathomp
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was ok
A woman in her forties with a nineteen year old daughter marries a young man in his twenties. She considers herself to be old. The entire storyline seemed ridiculous.
Toffeeapple
Feb 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It was very longwinded, but I stuck with it.
Toffeeapple
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On this second reading I must have had my 'empathy switch' turned on as I found the book funny and disturbing.
Audiobook Accomplice (Gillian)
Not sure, but I think I might’ve mightily liked this…?!
My Full Review
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Michael Kott
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: von-arnim
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharonb
Aug 07, 2020 rated it liked it
This is my 5th Von Arnim book and I absolutely love her writing. I didn't enjoy this one so much as the others I have read (Not because of the writing because that was as good as ever). The themes of aging, relationships with large age gaps and the different way society looks at them when the genders are swapped is interesting. The hypocrisy and sexism of the time was rife. But I didn't really like any of the charecters. Christopher was selfish, immature, mean spirited and jealous, the way he sp ...more
Diane
Aug 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Elizabeth, Countess Russell, was a British novelist and, through marriage, a member of the German nobility, known as Mary Annette Gräfin von Arnim.

Born Mary Annette Beauchamp in Sydney, Australia, she was raised in England and in 1891 married Count Henning August von Arnim, a Prussian aristocrat, and the great-great-great-grandson of King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia.

She had met von Arnim durin
...more

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“Christopher loved her with the passion of youth, of imagination, of poetry, of all the fresh beginnings of wonder and worship that have been since love first lit his torch and made in the darkness a great light.” 2 likes
“Laughter—one of the most precious of God’s gifts; the very salt, the very light, the very fresh air of life; the divine disinfectant, the heavenly purge. Could one ever be real friends with somebody one didn’t laugh with? Of course one couldn’t.” 2 likes
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