In the book “History of Love” by Nicole Krauss , Leopold Gursky had a neighbor named Alma. Alma was the girl whom Leo fell in love with and sooner became closer and closer. They had a relationship for 10 years but Alma's father wanted her to go to United States. Alma didn't want to leave Leo. Leo gave Alma 3 books he had written for her journey, one book "History of Love" was dedicated for Alma. It was a sign that Leo will never love anyone else but her. Three and a half year later Alma is pregnant and is married to another guy who is not Leo, but Leo doesn't know that she was pregnant until he made it to America. She was shocked to see him , those three and a half year Alma thought Leo was dead from the war in Germany. Leo wanted her to go with him so they can go back but Alma refuses she wanted herself and her child to remain in America. So Leo just accepted what she wanted and left. Leo sometimes watches Isaac (Isaac is Alma's son) but is scared to talk to him. Five years later Alma has died but Leo still kept a watch on Isaac. He was proud to see Isaac become a writer just like Leo. Isaac died without ever knowing Leo. In the story a new perspective comes in , Alma Singer who was named after the book "History of Love" had a bit of a family issue. Her father died from cancer at age 7 and now ever since the father had died the mother is depressed and lonely. So Alma looks for her a new husband for her mother. That guy was Leo Gursky. They made an appointment to meet each other Alma and Leo speaks to each other but Leo one day got a heart attack so Leo never really got to get close to Alma's mother as much.
This book connects to the world because many people sometimes breaks the most important promises such as what Alma (not the daughter) did she promised Leo that she also will not love another man but she married another man.
I think I would recommend this book to others especially people who likes novels. I would recommend this book because it's like a book talking about another book with the same title.That may seem silly but another reason is because it's romantic but yet sad. Mostly books with romance usually end with a happily ever after but this book ends when a woman just meets a new love and that new love dies.
The great tragedy of life is this then, our friends are not allowed to finish their stories.
My second reading of this book bore out my feeling the first time I read it. The first two hundred pages are a stunningly beautiful and moving account of love and loss and the stories hidden within stories and then, of a sudden, it’s as if Krauss handed the novel over to her distinctly less talented husband to finish off the book. She ruins it with the fourth of her narrators, the entirely preposterous whimsy of Bird who is a kind of identikit of Foer’s equally irritating cutesy cutesy little boy narrator in Extremely Loud. Bird is a mistake and the attempt to add still more madcap tomfoolery and another search for a missing person, a person who doesn’t exist, is just daft. Bird as a character is a joke that simply isn’t funny. And to make another mystery of a mystery, to create another story with the honeycomb of stories, backfires horribly so late in the novel. I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel that punctures so catastrophically towards the end and has left me feeling so angry and cheated.
I'd forgotten how beautiful most of this novel is. How poignantly and succinctly Krauss conveys the childhood love of two Jewish children before the Nazis arrive. How magically she recreates Leo’s memory. And how alive and full of the heart is the old man recollecting himself as a boy in the narrative. Leo is a brilliant and heartwarming depiction of old age just as Alma is a fabulous evocation of adolescence.
Krauss writes brilliantly about love, in all of its forms. She’s got a marvellous eye for epiphanies and evokes them with searing poetic simplicity. And the multi-layered form of the novel where three narrators are each telling missing parts of each other’s stories is brilliantly achieved. It also works great as a literary detective story. Almost you have to keep a list of the clues as you’re reading.
So, absolutely brilliant until Krauss’ ultimate recourse to whimsy, as if she and her husband were sharing some private joke, and which comes very close to spoiling the poignant moving emotional fabric of this novel. Conclusion? The Great House is the better novel.
I grabbed this from my bookstore job because I liked the title and cover. I vaguely suspected it would be shmaltzy. Which it was, sort of, but I ended up liking it anyway. It reminded me naggingly of Jonathan Safran Foer's work, and I was not surprised to find the two authors are married: they share a set of very similar themes and even storylines. Of the two, Krauss impresses me more. She is less precious, more heart-ful than her spouse. Points lost for child characters who strain credibility, but more than making up for them with a fantastic old man. (Old people > children in books for me these days.)