Love in the Time of Cholera

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I finally finished this book that’s been on my list for a good 20 years.  I picked it up when I was younger, and promptly put it back down; the writing style was too adult for me at the time, too “classic literature,” and I couldn’t stay engaged.  I’m so glad I gave it a second chance in adulthood.

This is so beautifully written, I found myself reading sentences out loud, then copying entire pages for people to read.  At some point I gave up, and decided to recommend the whole book to anyone who asks.  So, here you go – you can read it online for free Here.

Love in the Time of Cholera is an epic love story in the truest sense.  It has a special place in my heart now, because it is also my Grandfather’s love story, another man who spent 50+ years pining for his true love in silence.  This is a story of obsession, of tenacity, of unconditional love.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez has mastered the art of flawless segueing.  The book starts at the end, and before you realize what happens you’re right back where you started, with three lifetimes worth of back story.  His descriptions of time and place entrench you so deeply in the late 1800’s Caribbean, you can smell the humidity and hear palm leaves pressing against stone walls.  It is a work of fiction, but told so richly it reads like a romantic history novel.

The anticipation of the love story is so great, I felt I might throw the book across the room if it didn’t end to my liking.  Without ruining the end, I’ll say it doesn’t quite strike where you’d hope, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint.  These characters have been taking up residence in my mind for only a week, but in a lifetime I could never forget them.

To keep the momentum going, I’ll go right into A Hundred Years of Solitude.

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