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Book Club: Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

By Margaret Manning March 07, 2014 Mindset

Love in the Time of Cholera” is a book by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez, a Colombian novelist, screenwriter and journalist. His writing style has been referred to as “magical realism,” because he uses elements of fantasy to explain and enhance real life experiences. Most of his books express a theme of human solitude.

He won the Nobel Prize in 1982 for a book called “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” which enchanted and intrigued me. Marquez is a stunning writer who pulls readers into his stories in a sensory way. He understands relationships. Sometimes you feel as though you walking alongside the characters, experiencing their lives with intensity and realism.

“Love in the Time of Cholera” is a love story about a relationship of unfulfilled passion. The love between Fermina and Florentino is so strong that it connects their lives for fifty years. They meet when they are young. They fall in love, but Fermina marries a wealthy doctor and Florentino goes on to have over 600 affairs despite his love for her. When her husband dies, he attends the funeral.

At the center, it is a story of one love affair, but in reality it is a story about love in many forms. The different characters just embody these different types of love. For him, as the title implies, love is like a disease that consumes you.

I chose this book for two reasons. First, because it is a beautifully crafted story. Second, because every women in the Sixty and Me community has experienced one love in their life that was all consuming. Perhaps it took time to make it work or maybe it never did. Perhaps someone still remains a dream and a fantasy.

Diving into this deep, passionate, yet realistic love story may ignite memories of similar experiences. I hope that every woman who reads this book remembers the passion of a love affair that changed their lives.

If you don’t already have a copy of “Love in the Time of Cholera,” you can get it on Amazon.

To kick things off, here are a few questions for discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comments:

Why does Garcia Márquez mention the disease cholera in the title of the book?

How are the symptoms of love equated in the novel with the symptoms of cholera?

Why does Florentino say going to visit Fermina is like going to a funeral?

Do you think the book is written more like a soap opera or a classical drama?

Why does Florentino tell each of his 622 lovers that she is the only one he has been with?

After rejecting Florentino’s declaration of love following her husband’s funeral, why is Fermina eventually won over by him?

Does the fear of aging or death change Florentino’s feelings for Fermina?

I hope that you enjoy this book! Please share your thoughts below.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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