Thursday, January 6, 2011

Jackie LOVES The Lover's Dictionary

basis, n.

There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you’re in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.

If the moment doesn’t pass, that’s it—you’re done. And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it’s even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover’s face.

How does one talk about love? Do we even have the right words to describe something that can be both utterly mundane and completely transcendent, pulling us out of our everyday lives and making us feel a part of something greater than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary has constructed the story of his relationship as a dictionary. Through these short entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of being within a couple, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.

Jackie says:
"This is an amazing book. It truly is told in the style of a dictionary--a word and then a short explanation of that word as it relates to the unnamed male narrator and his unnamed girlfriend. The 'definitions' are sometimes a single sentence, sometimes a paragraph, a few are a page long. They are spare and poignant. I teared up at some, laughed at others, and experienced vivid memories about being in similar situations and having similar emotions. I re-read a lot of them because I loved the way he was able to describe an emotion or a moment--he really cuts to the heart of something with just a few words. The story in not chronological, which makes it a sort of puzzle to put together--a delightful puzzle. This isn't a happy story, nor is it a sad story--it's the story of two people in a relationship with ALL of its emotional currents. It's moving, brilliant, and a book I could not recommend more sincerely."

1 comment:

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

This sounds like a fun read. It would make a great Valentine's day present. Thanks for the review!