A good title will get me every time. And so it was with Love in the Time of Cholera. I had never heard of Gabriel Garcia Marquez when I bought this book on a whim, after seeing it on a bookstore shelf. It was the title that drew me in.
And the opening line:
It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.
How could I resist it? I bought the book and that was the beginning of my love affair with Marquez’s writing.
Last week, in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, I saw one of those “Top 10 Books about Great Love” lists (I forget now which publisher had put it together). Love in the Time of Cholera was the only book on the list that I had read, and it made me pull it from my bookshelf for another look. My Penguin paperback copy was published in 1988, three years after its first publication in Spanish. So it must be time to re-read the 50-year love story of Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza, loosely based on the story of Marquez’s parents.
While I loved his novels, I confess my attempt to read Marquez’s autobiography, Living to Tell the Tale, failed. I got bogged down somewhere in Columbian student politics and gave up.
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Penguin Books, 1988.