Author: Gabriel García Márquez, Edith Grossman
IT WAS INEVITABLE: THE SCENT OF BITTER ALMONDS ALWAYS REMINDED HIM OF THE FATE OF UNREQUITED LOVE’
Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza’s impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Florentino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again.
When Fermina’s husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?
I had read this book quite a while back, but never got around to reviewing it. So, here goes:
Love stories these days follow similar patterns, especially in Indian publishing. Every time you read a love story, you have a sense of Deja Vu. This book was like a breath of fresh air. The characters are crafted with excellent precision so much so that you can actually visualize them.
The story line is amazing and the way the author describes the scenes makes you laugh and feel things. One of the example of the narration style is that the protagonist of the story, Florentino, waits a lifetime to be with the love of his life, Fermina Daza. This is why we read in the blurb, so when the book starts with the line:
It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.
We think that it is about Florentino…but we are proved wrong in the very next statement. The sentence constructions are such that the author lets you come to a certain conclusion, and then proves you wrong. It is such a delight to be challenged in this manner!
While this is not a love story of an epic proportion, it surely has an earthy flavor of relationships that you might come across in real life, and that has made all the difference.