The Fullness of Life: Reading The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I have a horrible anxiety around flying.  I would much rather drive the Trans Canada highway a dozen times than to travel, by air, to Ottawa from Calgary once.  As it turns out, the flight to my mother and father and sister and her family, turned out to be a beautiful flight.  I ended up taking my cousin’s approach, once shared before I took off…that as I looked down, I should be thinking about the glorious divine and all that is huge and magnificent and totally out of my grasp.  So, from my window seat, I kept focus on the patterns of land and weaving rivers…huge bodies of water…and clouds…that spread out below me by 37,000 feet.  When I wasn’t resting my cold forehead against the window, I was reading The History of Love.

There are many writers/readers who have written in-depth critiques and reviews on the book; I simply wish to convey a few brief thoughts on the book and to recommend it to my readers.

The voices of the characters are so absolutely clear and so unique, that I was able to engage their narratives as a way to journey into the depth of my own heart.  Leo and Alma both shared with me poignant moments that lifted me out of my own experience, in order to be spoken to, in some critical way, about how love matters.  I was able to be that man at the end of his life…I was able to be that young girl who sought desperately to resolve the pain and loneliness that existed within her own family.  This is a book that matters.

The monologue of Nicole Krauss that I include below is a very important one.  Try to follow it to minute 14…listen to what she says about creating ourselves…about memory…about the stories that we carry with us.


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