I'm happy to say that I'm back to work and in the swing of my normal routine again! All of those repairs and waiting around for appointments and repairmen about drove me batty. I traded repairs though, for a two-day migraine that just wouldn't leave me alone. Ah, the life! Having crazy migraines or a busy mind leads to yet another reason to be a proponent of audio books. Honestly, audio books have saved me on many occasions, such as when I get a headache, have a long drive (as I did to a wedding on Saturday...that kept me from the readathon), or for my daily commute (to keep me from getting insanely angry at ignorant drivers). I can't say that I've ever really listened to audio books on a regular basis until these past several years, and now I don't know what I'd do without a great book to listen to!
With that in mind, there are some audio books that, for me, are more conducive to listening to than others. In the case of The History of Love, I would say that it takes a bit more concentration to follow. It was a great book, just difficult at times to follow.
Synopsis: The premise of this novel is hard to set up without giving things away. Set up with multiple story lines, it seems that the book is a series of short stories; however, the three or so stories eventually start to converge, so it becomes more obvious that they each tie together with the others.
It begins with the life of Leo Gursky, an old man who tells his story of surviving the Holocaust and having lost the love of his life. He tells a story of a girl, who escaped Europe before WWII, whom he loved and never stopped thinking about. After the war, Leo sought her out in New York City, only to find that life circumstances had dramatically changed things between them. You can never quite tell what happened to Leo's life from that point on, but as each of the other stories are introduced, you begin to fill in what might have happened. Each story leads to a wonderful conclusion, which shows how love influences our lives and the directions we each choose to take.
Review: First, I have to say that this was one of the more difficult audio books to follow that I've checked out. A simple distraction in traffic left me tuning back in to the story saying, "Wait...who is that talking now?" Since it is told from multiple perspectives, and they feel different from one another in the beginning, it was often hard to follow the stories. To be honest, I just wanted to hear more of Leo's story. Because it begins with him, and does seem to center on him, I found myself wanting to just go back to him. The writing is beautiful, and the images that are drawn up amazed me. I found myself agonizing over Leo's happiness, hoping and praying that this beautifully complex character found the joy he so desperately deserved, before he died. In a culture where we sometimes side step the story of the aged, I found Leo's experiences to be telling, and to show how the actions and experiences of one's life can influence one's philosophy on aging and dying.
While complex and beautiful, this story took great care to weave the lives of multiple characters together in a very satisfying way. In an effort to not give away the ending, all I can say is that the entire story feels like it's waiting for the ending of the story, when the reader can see all the plot points finally slide together. Altogether, I found the story haunting, revealing, thought-provoking, and beautiful. Difficult at times to follow in audio, the novel was one that needed careful attention. I genuinely appreciated and enjoyed The History of Love, and would readily recommend it to any serious reader.
For more information, see: The History of Love.
*FTC: Review based off of a library audio book.
This novel counts as my 4th in the Audio Book Challenge at Royal Reviews.
Also, don't forget to join in my giveaway for The Secret History of the Pink Carnation! The giveaway ends on 4/18!