Thursday, December 30, 2010

Book Review: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

A book as moving and inspiring as this hasn’t come along in a while. Tears flowed down my eyes periodically as this book within a book evolved and I was swept away to several worlds outside my current urbanity. The world of Alma and Bird Singer in New York City, the world of Leo Gursky and Bruno in Poland and Brooklyn , the world of Alma Mereminski and her son the acclaimed author Isaac Moritz and finally, Zvi Litvinoff’s demented world. Leo is a wonderful writer who unfortunately never gets the proper credit. His “best friend”, Zvi Litvinoff publishes his book in Chile with minor modifications for fear of not getting recognition from his wife and the world as an author. The book “The History of Love” written by Leo Gursky gets some exposure but eventually reaches the perfect hands of an Israeli backpacker, David Singer. His daughter, Alma, named after the author’s undying love interest; Alma Mereminski decides to search for the real Alma while searching for her own identity as a lonely and troubled teen, creating a parallel story. After several trials and tribulations and with the help if her insightful younger brother, she is able to get to the source of it all, bringing Leo Gursky to several realizations along the way. This novel tells of love, hope, belonging, insecurity, history, loneliness and death. Each character’s inner thoughts are brought to life and the reader gets a rare window into their feelings. Sadness and happiness intertwined make this page turner a book to be read slowly and spread out over time.