Love in the Time of Cholera

Love in the Time of CholeraLove in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a magnificent story of unrequited love leading to a love triangle that lasts the lifetimes of the three main characters. A young poet, Florentino Daza, falls in love with Fermina Daza, but family circumstances prove difficult and ultimately Fermina rejects her young suitor in favor of Dr. Juvenal Urbino. The narrator describes the resulting lifetimes of romantic tension from the perspective of each of the three in turn (though remaining third-person, omniscient), often diverting to consider the many complexities these lives encounter. The result is a fascinating, insightful narrative seasoned with frequent bits of intrigue, irony, and humor.
The setting is a swamp-enclosed coastal city on the Caribbean, from something like the last quarter of the 19th Century to the middle of the 20th. The culture is slowly shedding remnants of its colonial period and all of the main characters have personal links into this past. In this vaguely fantastical world, occasional suspensions of reality come along, though no one notices anything unusual.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is indisputably one of the premier authors of the 20th century, and this book is an excellent example of his best work. I found it very difficult to put down.


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