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Vintage Books  1985
Think of love as a state of grace: not the means to anything but the alpha and omega, an end in itself.—Florentino

This novel by Gabriel García Márquez seems very apropos for this time. We are under a pandemic, and the protagonists in this historic novel are under their own pandemic.  Of course, it takes 50+ years before the boy gets the girl, but love is forever.

Some readers have problems with Florentino.  He seems an obsessive Don Juan – bedding everything with breasts—and yet still insists that he is a “virgin,” that he only has one love. Is it because Fermina is the one who got away, or because she is the other half of his soul? Readers have been battling over this question for over 50 years, and will probably continue to do so for another 50.  Read it again and let us know where you stand.  Happy Reading.—mcf

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (EL AMOR EN LOS TIEMPOS DE COLERA) was first published in 1985. It is considered a non-traditional love story as "lovers find love in their 'golden years'—in their seventies, when death is all around them".  Gabo based the story on two couples – his parents who married later in life, and an older American couple whom he read about in a newspaper story. The older couple were in their 80s and met every year in Acapulco. They were out on a boat one day and were murdered by the boatman. Turns out they were married to other people.  This sparked Gabo’s imagination and the rest is history.

SUMMARY:  In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. But the rules were different in those times, and girls had to marry for position and wealth. When Fermina chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career, he whiles away the years in 622 affairs - yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he does so again. This time she says yes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Gabriel García Márquez was born in Colombia in 1927. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982. He is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction, including ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE, LOVE IN THE TIME CHOLERA, THE AUTUMN OF THE PATRIARCH, and THE GENERAL IN HIS LABYRINTH.  Unfortunately, Gabo died in 2014, but he lives on through his work and his readers.