I had been wanting to read this book for some time as it features in one of my favourite films ‘Serendipity’, but I am a bit disappointed by the book as I found it a bit slow and it didn’t grab and hold my attention, and also didn’t match with my ideas of love and fate (although obviously that’s not the author’s fault!). The story is of life in the early 1900s in the Spanish-owned Caribbean and of the three main characters (Fermina Sanchez, Florentino Ariza, and Dr Juvenal Urbino) and particularly the men’s love for the same woman and how this brings both pain and pleasure and how their lives are constantly intertwined. The book deals with unrequited love and of how life twists and turns in unexpected directions and may bring you what you’ve always wanted, however unlikely and how altered this may seem at the beginning.

Fate features a great deal in this story and how fate ties people together and brings them together come what may (similar to the theme in the above mentioned film, really). But I felt this book wasn’t a particularly romantic version of fate, or at least Fermina and Florentino don’t seem like a match made in heaven or destined to be together and as a reader I don’t yearn for them to be together. I found myself hoping really that this book wasn’t about fate or destiny, as it doesn’t correspond to my ideas of these things.

I was intrigued as to whose tale of love this actually was; I first thought it was Florentino’s and his passion for Fermina, then I wondered if it was Dr Urbino and his passion for Fermina.

I was touched by Urbino’s feelings coming back home to his county after being away studying for years and how he’d romanticised the place in his head when he was away and then was shocked by the reality when he saw it again and by how dirty and poor it was – I can sympathise with this when returning to different places I have lived. It was perfectly described in the book, and how sad and disappointed it makes you, and the ability of your mind and memory to play tricks on your recollections.

I found the book intriguing as it begins with the end of the characters’ lives, and then the reader learns about their earlier life that led to this point. I find this style a bit disconcerting but interesting; it makes me have to keep going back to the beginning of the book to remind myself of the characters’ endings now I have learnt more of their earlier life.

Florentino is a strange character and I have a mix of feelings for him. I feel sorry for him that his deep love for Fermina was not reciprocated and the hurt he carries with him after her rejection. I am puzzled by my feelings for this character; I feel I should like him as he seems incredibly romantic and sensitive and loving and giving and surely his level of attention and adoration would be what every woman would be flattered to receive, and yet (I imagine all due to the author’s subtle writing of the character) I find I feel the same about him as Fermina feels; namely that he’s slightly odd and a bit creepy. As I say, this is difficult to fathom as his display of feeling should make him the ideal, and he doesn’t do anything offensive that would cause people to feel repulsed by him but I do feel that repulsion. I can only think that it is the intensity of his adoration and passion, but, yet again, theoretically I think most women would think they wanted to be adored to this degree. I am intrigued by this character and my seemingly incomprehensible feelings towards him, and intrigued at how the author makes me feel this way.

I found it an interesting book and one that has made me think about it long after it’s finished, but to be honest I didn’t think it was that special and struggle to see why it was so highly regarded and celebrated.

Love in the Time of Cholera (Paperback)

By (author): Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Edition Penguin Books, 2007. ISBN: 978-0-141-03242-9. 348 pages. Just light tanning to paper edges. Other than that, the new and unread book remains in excellent condition throughout. Text all clean, neat and tight. Prompt dispatch from UK.
List Price: £8.99 GBP
New From: £9.09 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.01 GBP In Stock