Gabriel García Márquez
Vintage, New York, 2003; originally published in 1985 in Spanish, English
ISBN: 9780307389732

From the Publisher. In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

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Debbie Millman

Love in the Time of Cholera takes place in an unnamed port city in the Caribbean. It remains unnamed throughout the story. Headstrong Fermina Daza is the female lead in the story, and after a brief love affair through letters with Florentino Ariza, she ultimately rejects him and marries Juvenal Urbino. Lovesick, and forlorn, Ariza is obsessed and tormented by his love for Fermina Daza. “It’s no use,” he tells his uncle at the beginning of the novel, “'Love is the only thing that interests me.” And love he does! Though Florentino Ariza believes that Fermina Daza is his soulmate and vows to remain faithful to her, he proceeds to engage in 662 affairs over the next 50 years. All the while, Ariza sincerely believes that he is saving his heart and his virginity for Fermina Daza. When her husband finally dies, Ariza immediately returns to Fermina, and she slowly she understands that she has loved him all along. They embark on a voyage to sail the Magdalena River, and in an effort to keep other passengers from boarding the boat, the captain raises the yellow flag of cholera. He asks Ariza how long they can possibly keep coming and going in this manner. “Forever” is his one word reply. Love in the Time of Cholera is one of the most perfect books ever written.

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