Book Review: "Love in the Time of Cholera"

My second book of 2013 has been finished! This one took me longer than usual to read, because I wasn't entirely sure how I felt about it the entire time I was working my way through it. Actually, I'm still not really sure how I feel about it!

Set in the Caribbean in the late 1800's to early 1900's, "Love in the Time of Cholera" is a story of unrequited love with a twist. In the beginning of the book, a young teenage boy named Florentino Ariza falls in love with the beautiful Fermina Daza the moment he sees her. They begin to write letters in secret, and fall in love with each other through their words. As the two grow older, Fermina Daza discovers that she does not actually love Florentino, so she breaks it off and ends up marrying the prestigious Dr. Urbino. Florentino Ariza is devastated, and vows to wait his entire lifetime to be with Fermina, keeping in mind that Dr. Urbino has to die at some point. I won't reveal the twists and turns and the ending, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone!

Sounds like the type of book any woman would want to read, right? I thought so too, but it definitely was not what I was expecting it to be. I didn't hate it, I really liked it. It's a very unique love story. I just didn't always know how to handle it. 

The characters in this book are just...odd. That's really the only way I can think to put it. None of them are particularly likable. In fact, they all do something at some point that should make you hate them, but you still remain concerned for them. The entire book has a certain sense of depression, due to the time period (a time of strife, and disease...which is where the title comes from) and the characters also come across and significantly unhappy. 

Florentino Ariza in particular is just a little difficult to decipher. His vow to wait for the death of Fermina's husband to be with her has a certain romance to it I guess, but frankly, he just comes across as a stalker for much of the book. He never marries...but that doesn't mean her remained faithful in every sense of the word. He got around, if you know what I mean. Half of the content involved him and his attempts to get numerous women to sleep with him. I was not a fan of that strand of the plot line. 

Now, for something the positive. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is one top notch writer. The way he words things can be really beautiful. His writing style made even distasteful portions of the book really nice to read. He does a great job of painting the picture, and helps you understand thoughts without blatantly expressing them. And even though I said the book is kind of depressing, his writing can be quite humorous at times too. 

All in all, I thought the story was inventive, although it was far fetched. I definitely don't regret reading the book, although I wouldn't have been able to put it down even if I did. This is a book that there is simply no way NOT to finish. You want to know how it ends, trust me. I'm excited to order the movie off of Amazon and see if it does the book justice!

Linny said...

I have heard of this book, but never read it. Thanks for sharing! xo

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