by Gabriel García Márquez
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was not at all what I expected. It was much better than I expected actually. I listened to the audiobook version which was a good call for me because I think I would have had trouble with the Spanish names had I been reading but the narrator said them all beautifully and it was easy to keep the characters straight.
“Age has no reality except in the physical world. The essence of a human being is resistant to the passage of time. Our inner lives are eternal, which is to say that our spirits remain as youthful and vigorous as when we were in full bloom. Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself.”The writing is often quite beautiful and the shifting perspectives among the three main characters gives Marquez an opportunity to explore a lot of ways of looking at love, and at sex, and at memory, and at what the point of it all might be. It was written in 1985 and is set in Columbia around the turn of the 20th century (it spans the lifetime of Florentino Ariza). An understanding of the history of Columbia (on my part) would have enhanced this story, but I'm glad I read it despite the references I didn't fully understand.