Published by Vintage International in 2007 (one of many editions)
I got this book at the library.
This book is one you wanted to see reviewed in March and it completed my Around the World Book Challenge.
*THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS*
Synopsis via inside flap of the book:
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds three people's lives together for more than fifty years. In the story of Florentino Ariza, who waits more than half a century to declare his undying love to the beautiful Fermina Daza, whom he lost to Dr. Juvenal Urbino so many years before, García Márquez has created a vividly absorbing fictional world, as lush and dazzling as a dream and as real and immediate as our own deepest longings.
I was vastly underwhelmed by this one. In fact, I hated it. I'd read A Hundred Years of Solitude in the past and I really liked it so I was anticipating liking this one as well. I was not only disappointed, but I was, in a way almost offended.
The novel is supposed to be about many kinds of love, particularly unrequited love, but the character of Florentino is not one of my favorites. He sleeps with over 400 women, including his 14 year old ward when he is in his 60's. I'm sure there's an adjective for that and I'm guessing it's not "romantic".
Maybe it was a lack of reader comprehension, but my understanding is that part of the reason that Florentino and Fermina did not get married was because of a lack of maturity and some naivete on their parts as teenagers; as well as opposition from Fermina's father. Yet Fermina is able to move on and marry someone and has a moderately happy marriage. It's not perfect, nor is the man she marries, but you can sense that they did love each other during the years they were married.
This is what baffles me, Fermina married once and was able to move on with her life. Florentino slept with a staggering amount of women and claimed that each one of them was basically almost a suitable replacement for the women he lost, yet he's satisfied with none of them, so to speak. I'm pretty sure that's a mathematical impossibility. Even if you don't have viagrea. Plus, he prompts his 14 year old ward to commit suicide and is basically responsible for the murder of another woman (her jealous husband finds out about her infidelity because Florentina paints on her skin).
Plus, when Fermina's husband finally dies, Florentina doesn't even give her a proper amount of time to grieve, (the novel states that the scent of the flowers on his casket still permeated the house) and as in love with her as he claims, it's basically implied that due to their age their relationship was not what it could, or for that matter, should have been. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? I stuck around for how many pages and the reunion isn't perfect? That's fucking crap.
The feminist part of me is so pissed off about this one. I'm a hopeless romantic. I love when two people cross distance and time and end up together in the end. But an oversexed old man who treats women like they are expendable objects doesn't make my heat go all a-flutter, (my stomach kind of was, but that's another issue entirely).
I know there are some people who LOVE this novel, Oprah claims that it's the greatest love story ever. (How I feel about Oprah and her book choices are also a separate issues). For those of you have read the novel, how did you feel about it?
I give the novel one dog-eared page.