Review: "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss (English)

The History of Love The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"The History of Love" is more like a historical overview of the time between World War II and nowadys. It is more the longing for love, the sweet tenderness of first infatuation, the growing feeling of wounds which were kept by missed love, but which are growing together and healing. To find out more, read my review now:)

Note to my readers: I found out that there will be a movie about "The History of Love" while I searched for pictures (because it felt right this time). I think they chosed suitable actors for it. I really imagined them like that so I chosed to make a review with pictures. None of them are my own, but are part of the production and advertisement of the film. I only do reviews for fun :)  Enjoy!

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There are two time periods:
Leo Gursky, a Jewish-Polish man who had to flee because Germans overrun Poland.
Alma Singer, a 15 years old girl who fears that her mother to will never fall in love again and who struggles after her father died of cancer.

70 years before Leo Gursky fell in love with Alma Mereminski. They are both neighbors and Leo can't take his eyes of her in the early age of 10. After a time, they both are in love.

But the Second World War changes everything... She is twenty now. Alma's father decides that it is too risky for her to live in Poland after her father heard that in Germany fascists gained power, so she should depart to USA. Yet, Alma wants to stay because Leo doesn't have enough money to come with her. Only after Leo promises her to gain money and to follow her, she leaves Poland.

Leo writes a book about her named: "The History of Love" in which Leo combines reality and fiction. It is about his love to Alma.

Leo knows that she is the only one he will ever love, the only one he will marry.

With the sparse amount of money he gets for his work as a janitor in a hospital, he sends her the copy of eleven chapters in his own handwriting in small writing in which he dedicates his love for her and hopes that his message will arrive.

Shorty afterwards, Leo has to hide so the German troops can't find him.

Of course he wants to be with her again. However only after three and a half year, he dares to leave Poland for going after Alma.

Then the Russians arrive and he is sent to a Displaced Persons camp.  Leo soon finds out that he has a relative in USA and he writes to a cousin in America who worked as a locksmith.

Soon, he tries to visit her though he works out that he is in fact too late.
Alma was pregnant when she fleed and went to America. There she tried to send him letters, but they failed to arrive him.

During this time Alma worked in a dress factory and Alma feared that she would lose her job when her pregnancy would be noticed.
Thereafter someone told her that Jews were killed in Poland. The news hit her hard and though she needed the job to sustain herself and her son, who would be born in some weeks, Alma couldn't go to work.  She was too devasted for that. But help was needed. The son of her boss visited her and during the time he did everything to be like a father for his son.

So after two years and a few months, Alma married and had a daughter. And suddenly Leo grasped that she is content with her own family and that he is in the way...

Alma Singer: Alma is currently 15 years old and she lives with her brother Bird who has a strong belief in God and her mum whose only hold on life seems to be "The History of Love" and her children after she lost her husband because of cancer.

The unbelievable thing is that the novel has an pleasant, entertaining streak in it though there is so much sadness and miserability. The quirks of Alma Singer's brother, when Alma is reminded of her father and how he and her mum found each other. The love story between her parents, her way of coping and the way of her brother to use God to live through his sadness.

The novel shows us that life has many colours and we can't know how or where our lives will lead. It is in some way a love story of life because: yes, there are enough moments in it to break our hearts, yet also enough to love and to feel love to someone, even if it is only a friend which help us not to feel alone.

I think, it is a very artsy book which you should read carefully and in time. You can't rush this book. It's not exactly a page-turner because this would mean more or less that you could turn one page after another without contemplating about what you read.

It is a very philosophical and beautiful work. But nothing you could read when you like fast-pacing, exciting books, every day novels. It has its own pace and you have to give the novel a chance so you can register all what lays inside of it.

I loved it very much, although I also felt deeply touched and like crying. The novel isn't suitable for people who don't like thoughful books with mournful, depressing and sad passages.

However I can recommend it to everyone who love to read about how life can really change our paths and to people who like to read books to have another perspective on life.

Kind regards,

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