When I was 15, a friend of mine at the time suggested I read Love in the Time of Cholera, an ambitious suggestion for a teenager, yet the recommendation always stuck with me. Fast forward a decade, and it was the only book that fit perfectly in my clutch that I was taking with me on my solo-reading trip to Copenhagen. Okay, not the ONLY book that fit, but it moved to the top of my list AND fit, so I paused what I was currently reading (OMG, in the middle of six right now) and committed.
RAH, the feels of this book are stuck in my throat. It follows the story of two lovers, Florentino and Fermina, over the course of their lives while weaving in and out of relationships with others after being separated as youth romantics; Fermina in an arranged marriage to a wealthy doctor, and Florentino, with miscellaneous and passionate yet unfulfilling affairs. There are love letters galore, sightings from a distance, and tragic/dramatic characters destined to separate the fate that is Fermina and Florentino- but painted in such a brilliant and sweet light.
If you follow along my blog, or know me in real life, you have come to hear of my strong love for Fates and Furies by Laura Groff. While the two books are very different, they fit into this messy little narrative of relationships that are very intimate and complex, both the perfect mix of fate, complications, beauty, and passion. Love in the Time of Cholera specifically though, has multiple points of view that expose the reader to personal and public truths, making for a fascinating and heartbreaking/heartwarming (depending on how you look at it) story.
I read this book so fast, it almost feels engrained in me, but also a little forgotten because it was so condensed on the scale of time. I spent my entire trip in Copenhagen with it, stuffed in my coat, at incredibly fancy restaurants needing no companion besides the characters of the story, that by the time I returned home, I couldn't tell if the book was so fantastic because I read it on an amazing trip, or if my travels were so perfect because I was reading such a wonderful book. By the time I was boarding my return flight, the front cover had ripped off, and the back was on its last stretch- the perfect sign of such a loved possession. I know it goes against the purpose of a 'favorite' by having 10, but this is well within that list. I quickly bought a copy for a friend that I thought would love it, and if I knew more people that would have the intent of quickly swallowing it, I would buy 100 more. If there is a single book to trust me on as far as lovers go, this one would be it.