For the first half of this novel, I was not expecting it to finish as something I would rate with 4 stars. It took a while to get started, but once it did — I was in love. I have a feeling that if I were to reread it again, I would love it even more.
“We met each other when we were young, before we knew enough about disappointment, and once we did we found we reminded each other of it.”
The History of Love is a book within a book, written by a recluse named Zvi Litvinoff. Very few people have read it, but the parents of 14 year old Alma Singer loved it enough to name her for the main character. Now that Alma’s father has passed away, she becomes obsessed with the novel — and the man for whom her mother has begun translating it. Meanwhile, we meet Leo Gursky, an old man just trying to stay alive a little longer, while remembering his long lost love of 60 years ago.
It took me a few days to finish just the first half of this novel. The connections between these people are intentionally vague at first, and I strained to see clearly to how they were all linked — I wanted to figure it all out, dammit. The author has a very loose, dreamy way of writing that only frustrated me more. Once the links became clear, however, I realized that I should have just enjoyed the writing and let them come on their own. I devoured the second half of the novel in one evening, and immediately wanted to start it again from the beginning.