Another good read from the practical philosopher Alain de Botton.
I would have called this An Anatomy of Love.
It’s a story of love with a gently philosophical explanation of the stages of a relationship.
If you’re going to read this book don’t read the next paragraph – from my perspective it’s better to read it without knowing what’s coming, to enjoy the story for what it is with no expectations.
It is essentially a story of love, from start to end. I empathised with most of the facets of his love story: the irrationality and idealism with which the loved one is initially perceived, despite the randomness of the meeting; what beauty is; what you think of during sex; the dropping of boundaries so that each person takes on the personality traits of the other; the pain of heartbreak.
And the ending is just perfect.
In some ways I would hesitate to recommend this to someone in a relationship. I suspect it is more suited to someone who has recently broken up. It may not offer answers, but the knowledge that others have experienced the same as you is helpful.
(And if it doesn’t work, then Mr Minchen’s fine tune will undoubtedly put things into perspective!)
That said, people in a relationship often make assumptions based on their parental influences, and put hope in feelings, but don’t understand the work required to keep it healthy, so this book can be seen as a helpful way to understand the different aspects of a lover’s relationship – both the good and the bad.
So I didn’t find it revelatory, but it’s a an enjoyable and easy read.
I’ve read a few of Alain de Botton’s books and you can see other reviews here.