Kristina's Reviews > The History of Love

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
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's review
Jul 29, 2007

really liked it

Even though we're all a bit alone in the world, there are certain things that bind us together as human beings. What really made me stop and think about this, actually, was the bridge collapse last Wednesday. No matter where you were, you knew it was on everybody's mind, and somehow knowing, even when I was just sitting in Starbucks, that everyone around me was thinking about the same thing made me think about how we're all in this together. The woman who sold me my morning bagel at Brueggers started randomly talking to me about a regular customer whose sister was still missing from the collapse, as if that woman were her best friend.
People are so nasty to the random people they encounter every day, but we don't realize how much we need eachother until something crazy happens.

Anyways...this book actually has nothing to do with the 35W bridge, but it does center on how the common threads of Love and Literature can bind us together when we feel completely lost and alone, and how these things can affect us in ways we never realized.

That said, I really enjoyed the book, the writing is elegant and the characters are great, but there was something about it that didn't grab me in a way other books do. I feel like Jon Hill grading an English paper to say this, but it didn't really have that "ohmygood this is one of my favorite books of all-time" sort of it.
(i.e. "oh your paper was fantastic, I just want you to make these few minor grammar corrections" and then you get a B. You know what I mean.)

Also it kind of buggged me that Alma was made into a sort of everywoman character. Hello most people have personalities. Women are not angels, we burp and fart and have idiosyncracies. I love when in literature, women are idealized and represented by an angelic, pedestal-dwelling archetype. Sigh.
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