The History of Love by Nicole Krauss as might be already guessed from the title is a novel about history, about love as well as dying, about inability of humans to change the history, take back the decisions; take back words that meant not to be even uttered.
The History of Love is a story of Alma Singer, fourteen years old New Yorker, and Leo Gursky, eighty years old Polish Jew, the locksmith skillful enough to open any doors except for those that lead to the past, to his heart, to the words unspoken.
The novel is astonishing, sad, funny and quirky. It is well written, however there is a certain unbalance between the portrayals of various characters.
The History of Love is in too many ways similar to Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close published the same year by J. Safran Foer.
In both novels the protagonists are bit too intelligent and mature children growing up without father, unravelling old (family) mysteries in distant boroughs of New York. As far as the form is concerned, both authors use the same posmodern techniques, the same construction of the plot and even the same underlying themes.
Even it is difficult to refrain from comparing these two novels, it is perhaps more advisable to read them as a complementary narratives presenting two emotionally different points of view.
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