The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
In the process of writing this novel, Krauss wanted to write “a book that people would take personally.” By touching on universal themes—the fear of dying without being seen or remembered, the way grief changes a person into someone else, the persistence of love—Krauss accomplishes just that. The eponymous The History of Love is a novel written by Leo Gursky during the beginning of World War II; he loses it, along with Alma, the woman he loved. Unbeknownst to him, the novel is published and, decades later, translated from the Spanish by thirteen-year-old Alma’s mother, who is caught up in the grief of losing her husband to cancer. Alma searches for the origin of her name while Leo searches for a way to be seen before his death; as the novel progresses the threads of all the stories work their way together into a satisfying ending, detailing along the way the power of art to act as a healing force.