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Listening to the Silence

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Karen Maitland
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David Mitchell

The History of Love

The History of Love - Nicole Krauss The History of Love tells the story of two people, Leo Gursky, a survivor of the Holocaust and fourteen year old Alma, named for a character in the book he wrote for the girl he loved; a book he thought long since lost to time. Leo Gursky is an eccentric old man, with many little quirks designed to get people to notice him so that he doesn't die unseen. Alma lives with her mother and younger brother, all of them trying to live with the memory of her father who died years before. In an attempt to better understand and help her mother, Alma embarks on a journey to unravel the mystery of the History of Love, the story that both her parents loved so well they named their first child for it.

This was my first audiobook and I am glad I gave them a try. Hearing the story read really gave it a different emotional impact then you can get by reading it. I particularly appreciated that each of the characters whose viewpoint we are given had their own reader. I particularly liked George Guidall who narrated for Leo Gursky. His voice was perfectly suited to the character and I felt his parts most strongly. I didn't care for Barbara Caruso who narrated Alma's parts initially but once I got into the rhythm of the book I came to like her a good deal.

The story itself was incredibly touching. The characters were fully developed, and you really found yourself emotionally involved in their story. The ending of the story while expected, came together in an unexpected way and was so moving that it brought tears to my eyes. I think that had I not sometimes had to go days between listening to it again, I would have given this book a full five stars and potentially a favorite status. I am definitely planning on picking up the print version so that I can more fully immerse myself in it.