Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Book review: History of Love

Krauss, Nicole. The History of Love. New York: Norton, 2005.

The literary puzzle is told from multiple viewpoints, which gives the reader many different perspectives and a lot more information than any of the characters have. It works. An aging locksmith and Holocaust survivor lives alone in Manhattan; he lost the love of his life to the exigencies of fate and admires from afar the writer-son who never knew his real father. Meanwhile, a teen-age girl who lost her father to cancer tries to reawaken her mother to life as the mother translates a favorite book, "The History of Love." Krauss ties these stories together by letting information seep out gradually (although you'll probably guess the relationships correctly). I liked the openness of the narrative -- it take the readers to three continents -- and the intimacy the author establishes as these lives are revealed. The audio book has four different narrators, which helps clarify the narrative as one listens to it in one's car. 

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