Book Review – The Course of Love by Alain de Botton…

Rabih and Kirsten meet, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. Over the years this ordinary couple will miscommunicate and misunderstand each other, will worry about money, will have first a girl and then a boy. One of them will have an affair, one will think about it. Both will have doubts. This will be the real love story. Twenty-first century depictions of love and marriage are shaped by a set of Romantic myths and misconceptions. With his trademark warmth and wit, Alain de Botton explores the complex landscape of a modern relationship, presenting a realistic case study for marriage and examining what it might mean to love, to be loved – and to stay in love.
I have been given an ARC by Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I wanted to like this book. I really did. I have heard some very good things about the author and was very keen to read his work.
The reality was however, that this book just wasn’t what I was expecting it to be. I found both protagonists to be strangely difficult to like. Of course it is normal to have character flaws, but both Rabih and Kirsten seem to be so deeply flawed that even the most basic of communication to maintain a healthy status quo in their relationship seems to be beyond them. At times this left me (at times) utterly frustrated and wanting to reach through the page and give them both a good shake to wake them up!
The writing style feels very disjointed to me. It leaps back and forth between telling the story and the author giving his opinion in italics. It makes the story rather hard to keep grasp of at times.
Upon finishing this book, I’m not left wishing I could spend more time with the characters at all.
A 2 out of 5 star read.
I’m profoundly grateful to Netgalley and Penguin UK for my copy of this book.

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