Book Review: Love in the Time of Cholera

Here is the short and sweet of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garca Mجءrquez.

Is Love in the Time of Cholera one of my new favorite novels? No. Is it good though? Yes, and if you‰غھre looking for a book about love

and romance but not for a cheap romance novel, this is the book for you. It‰غھs about a boy, Florentino Ariza, who falls in love with a girl, Fermina Daza. After being romantic playing the violin and sending dozens of love letters to Fermina Daza, Daza‰غھs father finds out and takes Fermina away for several months in hope that their young love will dissipate. Although the entire time Fermina is away she thinks of Ariza, when she returns as a blossomed young woman and sees him after months apart, she rejects him for his unattractiveness.

She later marries a doctor, Juvenal Urbino, and Garca Mجءrquez describes the highs and lows of their marital relationship. Meanwhile, Florentino Ariza has many sexual affairs but Fermina remains his one true love he is holding out for. After Urbino dies, Ariza seizes the opportunity to confess his love to Fermina once more. Reading about Florentinos ever lasting love for Fermina is heartbreaking yet a representation of true love.

There are several reasons Love in the Time of Cholera is worth reading:

1. There are many sex scenes/entertaining affairs

2. I enjoy the way Garca Mجءrquez seamlessly flows from the narrative of one character to another in the middle of a chapter.

3. Elderly love and relationships are not common literary themes and Garca Mجءrquez describes elderly love in a beautiful way and sheds an optimistic light on old age and the inevitability of death.

4. I appreciate that Garca Mجءrquez didn't position Florentino as a completely sinless man to be pitied for spending his life waiting for Fermina. He had plenty of faults just as Dr. Urbino and Fermina. By creating more realistic characters with individual flaws, Garca Mجءrquez was able to write a more authentic love story.

This novel made me think a lot about time. One might think that Florentino Ariza wasted his life being single holding out for Fermina, but in the end, the 50 or so years of patience and persistence arguably pays off in the end. What I found to be moving was Ariza‰غھs lack of bitterness towards dedicating his life waiting and pursuing Fermina and his appreciation of the little time left they have to spend together in the last few years of their life. I recommend Love in the Time of Cholera and would love to hear others' thoughts. If you don't have time to read it there is a movie too, although, I haven't watched it so I can't say whether or not it's as good as the book.

]]>