Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
'Suddenly she sighed: "It is incredible how one can be happy for so many years in the midst of so many squabbles, so many problems, damn it, and not really know if it was love or not."'
This is a novel about love. (Yup, it's in the title, isn't it?)
Further: it is an outstanding novel about love.
Marquez makes love the absolute centrepiece of this long (life-spanning) story. It is beautiful in its exploration of the multifoliate complexities of love — its mutations, variations, diversions and continuities. Its ambiguity.
This is a love story that masterfully demolishes the construct of 'true love'. As Marquez knows (and, of course, needn't patronise us by explaining directly) all love is true love and no love is true love. It's the preoccupations, decisions and resolutions of the characters that create and define love.
It's a wonderful, joyful novel, written by an author who's deliciously unafraid of trusting his reader to extrapolate, interpret and judge. A novel written with love of love, and love of those who love.
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