Love Story: Book Review

Love Story: Book Review

May 15, 2011 1 By Manjil P. Saikia

Love Story

Book: Love Story
Author: Erich Segal, Rosemary Border (Editor)
ISBN: 019479122X
ISBN-13: 9780194791229, 978-0194791229
Binding: Paperback
Publishing Date: 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of Pages: 80
Language: English


Ah, I had taken a nice little break from reviewing books here, and took the time out to read a few books. Now, they were a mixed collection with a few being romantic novels, a few thrillers and the occasional non-fiction lot too. So, when I was thinking which book to write a review for, there was no question that it had to be “Love Story” by Erich Segal. The book, as the title says is just that, a unique short and at times sweet love story. To be frank enough, I am not much of a ‘romantic novel’ fan, and so it was with trepidation I read the book. But by the time I finished this short novel of 133 pages, I was mesmerized. I am now an Erich Segal fan, and am waiting eagerly to read more of his work.

This book is more of a very long short story than a novel, and is written in a plain and lucid style. The colloquial American tongue seems to be used very efficiently in this book. The story revolves around Oliver and his love Jennifer. Oliver, an Ivy League student specializing in law falls in love with Jennifer and battles out with his father and marries her off. They live separately after Oliver severs all ties with his family. After a few months of extreme difficulty they somehow manage to get a hold on to life after Oliver manages a job at a prominent law firm. Children are always a successor of a successful marriage; it is when Oliver and Jennifer fail to make some of their own that they decide to see a doctor to find out if they have any problem. The world for Oliver shatters with the visit to the doctor as he finds out that his wife has leukemia and has very few days to live.

Love could never end for Oliver and Jennifer. After being diagnosed, Oliver starts to take special care of his loving wife, till the moment she dies peacefully in his arms. Jennifer’s death was also a source of reunion for Oliver and his father, with whom he becomes close after her death. The ending of the book seems to be too sad with nothing good happening to Oliver, but the inherent meaning here lies in the fact that the love between Oliver and Jennifer was so pure that even death could not tarnish its sweetness. After all love teaches him and all of us that “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

The book is a great epitaph for love, and it explains what love truly is even to a person who has never loved in his life. Reading the book, you are transformed into a Segal character and begin to live and love with Oliver and Jennifer. The novel is a modern classic having sold close to 30 million copies and also being made into a highly successful movie. The real pleasure of this book can be derived if one reads the whole of it in a single sitting, and of course needless to say sharing it with a loved one is a joy unparalleled.

If you are in love, or have ever loved someone whom you have lost, read this book and I am sure you will come out the wiser with this experience. Also, this book makes a perfect gift for someone you love, so the next time you think about gifting something to a loved one, this book can make a beautiful present.

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