Sunday, April 6, 2014

"The Heart wants what it wants..."

"Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering." 

~ Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

I just finished this novel, and I really liked it. I will tell you, though, that it's one of those books you have to follow closely. The author, Nicole Krauss, takes fragmented pieces of people's lives and joins them together in an amazing way.

There are some books you can read and put down for awhile, then pick it up later. This isn't one of those. You need to keep the characters straight in your head and pay close attention. This is a thinking person's book. 

Do you assume all books are "thinking" ones? Ummm, I can tell you about plenty of books that require very little thinking at all. You just get to sit back and enjoy the ride, so to speak. Everything is laid out for you, nice and neat, and you already know how it's going to end. (I consider those...boring.)

Not this one.

You need to work for this one.

It's good work, though. It's a good book. You should read it.

You know I don't like to give away the plot, in any way, but I will tell you a bit. The story revolves around an elderly Jewish man, Leo, who is telling a story that begins before World War II and ends in present day, but...he isn't the only one telling a story. The boy who loved the girl was Leo. He promised to always love her, did he keep his promise? There are times when you wonder where the story is going, but you must be patient. It is going somewhere. It is also a story within a story...and more than one story. And, of course, it's all about love - all kinds of love. 

For me, I don't mind how many characters or sub-plots a story has, as long as the author brings it all together in the end. I must feel satisfied when the journey is over.

This book satisfied me, stayed with me, and made me think. I loved it in a quiet way. I don't know how to say it any better than that.

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