Monday, February 24, 2014

Review: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Title: Love in the Time of Cholera
Author: Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Publisher: Vintage
Pages: 348
Format: Turkish paperback
Source: Can Yayinlari


In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

My thoughts: 

Most of us learn (or try, at least) what love is from books, movies, TV shows before we get to experience it ourselves-- if we ever do, really. Some of us believe we'll get butterflies in our stomachs, some of us think we'll be swiped off of our feet, while some of us believe we'll be able to see nobody else but "the one" when we're in love. Of course, this changes according to whose definition of love suits you better. Put on paper by my favorite author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza's love that lasts half a century is the one I myself chose to believe in the first time I read it. 

Don't think it'll be all "baby, baby, oooooh" just because it's a love story. Even though Fermina has met and fallen in love with Florentino when she was young, she's married to Juvenal Urbino when we first meet her in the book. When they together again 50 years later, Florentino once again declares his love to her. However, how Fermina responds is kicking the man out of her house-- only when we dive into their past do we understand why.

There are many a life lesson in Love in the Time of Cholera. We see how 50 years can change people. We observe how, with them, their relationships change. We get to witness what kind of an effect time has on people as well as places and culture, what people are capable of when they're mad with jealousy, how death might scare them as they get older, and how being old affects the body as much as the mind...

In conclusion, Love in the Time of Cholera will make you question life in general. After all, there's a reason why it's on many "books you much read before you die" lists. 

P.S. There's a movie based on the book, but I personally thought that was a whole different story; not the one I fell in love with all those years ago and all over again just recently. Do see the movie if you want, of course, but don't think you've gotten a sense of the book if you've only seen the movie and not read it. 
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