Love in the Time of Cholera may be one of the most captivating books I have ever read. From start to finish, Gabriel Garcia Marquez uses the most beautiful turns of phrases ever printed on a page. It tells the story of a complicated-but-subtle love triangle between a woman and two men; her husband, and the man she loved as a teenager.
The premise of the story goes that woman, Fermina Daza, rejects her youthful lover, Florentino Ariza and marries a young doctor, Juvenal Urbino, instead. The rejected lover is heartbroken and vows to win Fermina back at any cost. Without giving anything away, the book trails Florentino's attempt to win Fermina Daza back over the course of many years and many interesting events.
Though the plot is certainly not an original one, the way it is told is remarkable. The story is set in an unnamed Columbian town, and envelopes the entire lives of all of the characters. It details the relationship between Fermina and Florentino and gives valuable insight into the marriage of Fermina and Urbino.
The best parts are all details. And, as the title would suggest, it is a love story. One neat thing I did on the second read was to underline all the different types of love that are mentioned in the story--there are close to 100--romantic love, fatherly love, platonic love, etc. It's amazing what GGM can think of.
The only thing that stopped me from giving this book a +5 is One Hundred Years of Solitude, a 400-ish page novel that Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote before Love in the Time of Cholera. Read that, and you'll never be able to give another book 100% of your approval.