I have mixed feelings about this love story. I appreciate that it is exquisitely written with fine details so that you feel as if you are standing in a Caribbean thunderstorm with the characters. The magic realism that Marquez so skillfully weaves through his narrative is wonderful, and I’ll be the first to admit that I love a bit of magical realism.
It tells the tragic story of Florentino Ariza, who spends his whole life waiting for the chance to love once again the woman who scorned him in his youth, Fermina Daza. The story opens on the day of Fermina’s distinguished husband’s death, and as is the case with many of Marquez’ books, it is set in a fictional country based on his homeland of Columbia at the turn of the century.
The book is beautifully written, but the thinly-veiled references to rape and pedophilia really just ruined it for me. I couldn’t really enjoy the character of Florentino Ariza after those parts of the story.
I paired this book with an excellent Italian wine, the Terra del Capo Sangiovese, perfect for those humid Caribbean nights that the book conjures in your mind.