When I first started the book, I considered waiting until I wasn’t pregnant to finish it as the story is very emotional and, at times, very sad. However, I fell in love with the characters and just couldn’t stop listening to this incredible story.
We start by being introduced to Leo Gursky. Leo is an elderly man who spends his days waiting to die and, yet, trying to be seen by others to prove he still exists. As we get to know Leo, we learn about his life in Poland before coming to America and how he fell in love only once.
We then get to meet Alma Singer, a fifteen year old girl growing up in single parent home and caring after her brother, Bird. We’re introduced to Alma’s parents and their unconditional love for each other as well as a book, The History of Love, that bonded them together and for which Alma was named.
The story beautifully carries the reader into the lives of Alma and Leo by telling the tales of the people that they love most. Understanding how each of these characters arrived at their current destination in life is only possible by understanding what has happened to their loved ones, parents, and children. We’re given a glimpse into the life of the author of The History of Love and provided with explanation of the book’s origin – which ties all of the heartbreaking and gorgeous characters together.
I cried a lot while
reading listening to The History of Love. But, I was also moved and inspired by the imagination and heartfelt emotion of the author and don’t regret a single tear shed. It’s a book I’ll likely read again and recommend to anyone looking for an unconventional love story.