Book Review: ‘The Course of Love’, by Alain de Botton

28420702This novel gives a brief overview of Rabih and Kirsten’s marriage (or at least the first sixteen years of it), interspersed with sections of commentary, as if they were a case study in the ups and downs of love and marriage. I quite enjoyed it, although I found the actual story rather sparse – it was mainly summary, with very little detailed conversation and action.

I agree with much of the author’s ‘take’, and especially his view that Romanticism is an inaccurate and inadequate lens through which to view real-world relationships, including love and marriage. I also applaud his decision to present a real-life love story, not just a ‘beginning of love’ story. I’m glad I read this book, but I wish it had been longer, with more detailed action and dialogue, less summarizing, and probably less editorial commenting.

Would I recommend it? Yes, very much so. Be prepared, though, for a very different kind of story told in an unusual way.

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