Updated: Oct 14, 2021
Author: Erich Segal
Total Pages: 187
Total approximate words: 39,270
If you have fallen in love, ever in your life, you would love this book. It is exactly what the name of this book is, a love story. Although the sheer quantity of words, could actually make it a very long short story, instead of a full-fledged novel (personal opinion). But given that, there is no denying that it is a book worth reading if it gets into your hand. Kind of how actually I ended up reading this work of fiction. Thinking about it, I must have bought it in an airport during one of my transits, perhaps. And along with my other books I must have neatly put this one too, in my book shelve, to read later. Almost eight years later, as I was rearranging the entire lot in my room, at my parent’s house, I finally decided to give this ‘once a best seller’ during the 1970s, a chance. After all, a love story can never be disappointing.
Oliver Barrett IV, 20, is from the very affluent family of Barretts who happen to be phenomenally wealthy and highly known for their aristocracy. Oliver, who is in Harvard, falls in love with Jennifer, an American with Italian descent and a music major in Radcliffe. Both young, twenty years old, a bit snobbish in the beginning towards each other, like most young lovers, and then madly in love with each other. So much so that, they get married, even without Oliver’s father’s consent. Not that he cared much for his family’s permission to marry the love of his life. Jennifer gives up her scholarship to pursue music in Paris to get married to Oliver who was preparing to go to law school. The couple goes through temporary hardships with only Jennifer’s salary of a school teacher as Oliver pursues his degree in Law. Once graduated, he bags an excellent offer from a reputed law firm in New York and the couple moves there. Their marital life was just at this exciting and romantic corner when things start to fall apart as Jennifer is diagnosed with a life-threatening sickness.
Within a few weeks of diagnosis, and after four years of marriage, Jennifer dies of leukemia, leaving Oliver all by himself, with a heart that only longed to be with her, and nothing and no one.
What I liked in the story?
That it was a love story. That it was short and didn’t unnecessarily drag the story just for the sake of it. That the words used were easy to read and understand. The style of narration was simple and straightforward.
What I didn’t like in the story?
It was a flat story. Mediocre story line and narration.
It is a good one time read, if you are into love stories, only. Not essentially mind stimulating, or heart wrenching like Love stories usually are. But then again, every book is supposed to be different. Don’t expect to be surprised, keep an open mind and just enjoy the simplicity of the book. As much as it was the best seller during the 1970s, I would rate this book a 6.5/10. To break that down for you,
Ease of reading: 7/10
Character/ Plot building: 6/10
World Building: 6/10
Do let me know your opinion about this ‘best seller’ book through an email or post it in the comments section. Best five responses will be featured in the website.
PS This review is based on my personal reading of the book and understanding it with my own limited experiences.