07 January 2013

The History of Love; Nicole Krauss

The History of LoveThe History of Love by Nicole Krauss
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Another overly hyped book that left me feeling "meh". Maybe it was because the two voices (Alma and Leo) sounded so much alike. Yes, Alma "spoke" in lists, and part of her story was also Bird's voice, but the way in which both (all three?) used language was too similar. As someone who has lived in/near NYC for the past 30 years, I was also confused as to how any resident of Brooklyn - as Ms. Krauss is - could say that to get from Manhattan to Long Island you need to go through Yonkers!

As for plot, it was ok. We're told that "The History of Love" was a huge influence, but we don't sense that. There's nothing that Alma tells us that convinces me that her mother really did love the book (yes, Alma's named after the lead character, but so what? that's not proof, that's perhaps coincidenc. proof would have been Mom re-reading the book annually, or something similar).

Leo's relationship with Bruno/Zvi was really quite sweet, and his fear of dying on a day when he hadn't been seen brought a lump to my throat. Ditto his little note, should he die. That elevated this from a 2 to a 3-star.

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