Love in the Time of Cholera is, at its core, a story both about the buoyant unpredictability and unchanging grasp of love. The novel begins with the sudden death of Fermina Daza’s lifelong husband and, thus, her former life. Shortly thereafter, her childhood sweetheart, Florentino Ariza returns to profess his “eternal fidelity and everlasting love” to her. Fermina is initially outraged by Florentino’s bold confession, but as the story continues, she becomes aware of the utter truth of his sentiments.
Against a colorful Caribbean backdrop alive with textures, aromas and taste, Marquez expertly weaves his tale, seamlessly unfolding Fermina and Florentino’s idyllic romantic past and tumultuous romantic present. In the process, the reader feels the constant weight of Florentino’s passion and the lingering burden of Fermina’s first refusal.
I began this novel because, first and foremost, I was drawn to the evocative colors of the cover and the exotic ambience of the synopsis. Within the first few pages, I instantly felt the novel’s atmospheric heat and pulse and enjoyed the inside access it gave me to sweet Florentino and, from first glance, stony Fermina.
About half way through the novel, I remember feeling distinctly impatient. After all, Florentino and Fermina were in their forties—wait now sixties—and if they’re really meant to be, they wouldn’t wait a lifetime to be together. Do they?
Gabriel Garcia Marquez makes you experience the yearning and feel the unbending chain of time as Florentino and Fermina live their lives together and apart. This novel will cause you to appreciate the pulse of your own love affair or, as Florentino would do, create a new love story.