Author: Gabriel García Márquez
(To English): Edith Grossman
Published in: 1985
Genre: Novel, Magical Realism
“Tell him yes. Even if you are dying of fear, even if you are sorry later, because whatever you do, you will be sorry all the rest of your life if you say no.“
~Love in the Time of Cholera
Florentino Ariza, President of the River Company of the Caribbean shows up to Fermina Daza, on the day of her husband Dr. Juvenal Urbino’s funeral, after loving her for fifty-one years, nine months, and four days! Florentino and Fermina had a romantic past when they were young and madly in love with each other. Fate tore them apart but their extraordinary love lasted even to the eve of their lives. Fermina had to live with a husband who gave her security, happiness and money but the love she carved for and the adventures she wanted to experience made her accept the love proposal made by Florentino on the day of her husband’s funeral. Fearing the society, Florentino sets sail with Fermina on a boat but when they return, Florentino suggests that they keep sailing up and down the river “forever”.
Magical Realism is a literary genre or style associated especially with Latin American writings that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into otherwise realistic fiction.
What I think about this book:
Love in the Time of Cholera is the story of ‘unrequited love’. Here love is shown as an emotional and physical ‘plague’. Going deep down into the pages, I met lovers loving in different ways. Some love were strong, some weak. Some endured the world and the course of time yet some lasted merely for minutes. Some took for granted yet some worshiped!
Florentino Ariza, his unrequited love Fermina Daza and her husband Dr Juvenal Urbino, the three important lovers I met in this book, had their own ways to love but their love had an outstanding power in it. Fermina here becomes someone with a heart that is an ocean of secrets and a love as wide as the sky! Her life is driven by her family, her society and she is taken on a journey she never desired to. Dr Juvenal has often taken his wife for granted and he might not have loved her like Florentino did but, all his life, he lived faithful to his wife. His love grew as they grew old together. As i read along, his death is described in such a way that it put me to tears: ‘He recognized her despite the uproar, through his tears of unrepeatable sorrows at dying without her, and he looked at her for the last and final time with eyes more luminous, more grief-stricken, more grateful than she had ever seen them in half a century of a shared life, and he managed to say to her with his last breath:”Only God knows how much I loved you.”
Another amazing kind of love is that of Florentino which waited for fifty-one years, nine months, and four days! His mad, unstoppable love for Fermina makes it unique. He tried to adjust with the tragedy of losing Fermina by being with other women. He went along with many but he realized that his love for Fermina was magical and that he could never love anyone that close. The book ends with his promise to be with her ‘forever’.
Marquez here brings a beautiful celebration of love of different kinds and of a love that doesn’t care of the age or time! He brings in a message that every single person in this world has a unique way of love, yet some love in an extraordinary way! This book is filled with emotion and is bound with a brilliant language and narration style.
My rating for the book:
How I found this book:
The first work of Marquez that I read was One Hundred Years of Solitude. I loved it so much that I began looking for other works of his…and then I found this masterpiece! Bought a copy of it as fast as I could!
Who would I recommend it to: