This month the group read The Course of Love by Alain de Botton. The story follows a young couple, Kirsten and Rabih, through the stages of their relationship, from meeting at work and falling in love, to marriage, children and middle age. It portrays all the demands on such a relationship, whether it be domestic chores, work, financial worries, aging parents, even an affair. It doesn’t hide the difficulties and friction that can arise and the couple even go through therapy at one stage.
The characters are well drawn and quite different. However, there is not a lot to the story. Much of the book is taken up with contemplations on the nature of love, reflections on each new development in the relationship and analysis of how love evolves and how one should respond.
On one level this is a serious and very thoughtful book, but many of the vignettes of Kirsten and Rabih’s life will match your own experiences. Generally, the group found the book a little heavy going, since it seems to dwell on the difficulties in the relationship with very little joy. Although described as a novel, there is more analysis of human behaviour than story.
Our future reading list is as follows:
Jul This Lovely City Louisa Hare
Aug Open Water Caleb Azumah Nelson
Sept Beautiful World Where Are You Sally Rooney
Oct Love After Love Ingrid Persaud
Nov Frostquake Juliet Nicolson
Dec The Dalai Lama’s Cat David Michie