Saturday, October 25, 2008

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

The History of Love is about at least two persons: Leo Gursky and Alma Singer, both living in New York. Leo is an old Polish-American jew and Alma is a 12-15 year old girl, who has lost her father and is living with her intellectual mother and her religious kid brother. But the book has many more layers. It is not hard to follow....but then again, maybe it is hard to follow all the layers. It is not until the last pages, or close to the last pages, that all loose ends are being tied and you actually understand what has been going on - or rather why it has been going on.
Leo is a refugee - he made his way to America in his youth, trying to get away from the nazis in Europe and ended in New York. He immediately find that girl he fell in love with back home in Poland and who had gone to America before him. But when their first meeting in New York does not go well, Leo (tries to) forget all about her and abandons every though of seeing her ever again.

But in the next many, many years to come, he still follows her and her family from the hidden siedlines.

Alma, the young girl, has one simple wish, and that is that her mother will come out of her loneliness and find happiness again.

When her mother is asked to translate a certain book - The History of Love" - Alma hopes that the man who has asked for the translation, perhaps could be a good match for her mother. It is because of this book that Leo's and Alma's lives are connected, but before that happens, all characters are going to go through a lot.

This very short review really does not show just how complex this book is. There are all the layers that I mentioned before and many more persons than mentioned here. I didn't really get through this book as easily as I had expected and actually I really do not know what I think about it. But it wasn't a bad read at all.

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