Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Love in the Time of Cholera - post VII

The book comes to an end and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. If someone was holding a torch for my wife just waiting for me to pop my clogs then I am sure I would be far from happy about it. But on the other side of the coin no doubt there is a certain romance about it.

Bullet points between pages 292 - 348

* Florentino has to wait for the letters to be replied and then plucks up the courage to visit Fermina and then it becomes a regular thing each month although she never concedes that he has a chance of developing the relationship beyond friendship

* He is 76 and she is 72 and there is an increasing emphasis on age and despite all the care he has taken to be in shape when they are finally free to marry she says she is old and he starts to accept that things are not the same

* She starts to correspond with him on a daily basis after he falls down the stairs in his office and is bed bound but then two stories are written in the local paper that undermine her - one being about an affair her husband is meant to have had and the other about the shady business dealings of her father

* When Florentino finally gets out of bed with a walking stick and goes to visit her they both seem decrepit and old, beyond love almost, but he still holds out hope and his persistence does seem to wear her down plus he writes an article under the name 'Jupiter' that tries to redress the lies printed in the paper

* Fermina’s daughter hears about the growing friendship between her mother and Florentino and tries to stop it but is told by her mother never to enter the family home again and leaves after only just healing the rift

* Meanwhile the young lover of Florentino discovers the hidden cache of love letters from Fermina and following her failure of her exams kills herself

* The news comes to Florentino when he is aboard a river cruise with Fermina, a trip that sees them finally move from letters and conversations to something physical and love blossoms

* But as the trip starts to end they panic about the possibility of going back to real life and so they hoist the yellow flag meaning that there is cholera aboard and come down the river without interruptions

* But when they reach port the health authorities want to know what is going on and the captain panics to which he is told by Florentino to go back up river and repeat the trip again - when asked how long he can keep doing that the old man who has waited so long for love tells him he can keep doing it forever

Review follows in the next couple of days

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