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What I’m reading: The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

It’s been a while since I posted a book review but I have a brilliant book to share with you today. Over the last few weeks I’ve been enjoying The Course of Love by Alain de Botton, his first novel in over a decade, which was published last month.

He has fallen in love with her calm, her faith that it will be OK, her absence of fatalism – these are the virtues of his new Scottish friend.

She has fallen in love, equally fast and hard and true, with the reserved sweetness and Levantine exoticism of this sad-eyed boy from Beirut.

And so we have a marriage: a hopeful gamble taken by two people who don’t know yet who they are or who the other might be, binding themselves to a future they have carefully omitted to investigate …

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton explores what happens where most books end. It is a playful, wise and incredibly moving novel about modern relationships which looks beyond the ‘And they lived happily ever after…’ story of most books about love to look at the course love takes after a couple gets married. It’s a brilliant, fascinating and close-to-the-bone book which will have readers looking askance at their partners and appreciate their dysfunctional relationship for what it is: real love.

It’s not often that I feel a book is written for me but that’s how I felt when reading this novel. I found it easy to get into as the subject is so relatable. I could empathise with many of the events in the book. Early on there’s one particular argument about which set of glasses to buy in Ikea. You may not have had that specific argument, but I guarantee you’ve had something similar.

I found myself bookmarking passages which I love to return to and re-read. Such as this one:

“The ordinary challenging relationship remains a strangely and unhelpfully neglected topic. It’s the extremes that repeatedly grab the spotlight … and so it is hard to know what we should make of, and how lonely we should feel about, such things as immature rages, late-night threats of divorce, sullen silences, slammed doors and everyday acts of thoughtlessness and cruelty.”

The book is split into sections, following Rabih and Kirsten’s relationship. It’s a a bit like a modern self-help manual (but really useful!) and also a fantastic novel about the realities of modern relationships that will completely absorb.

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton was published on 28thApril by Penguin, price £14.99. (Amazon Affiliate link)


  • Reply
    Anna Nuttall
    May 22, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    I saw this advertise in the week, I need a good book to read. xx

  • Reply
    May 22, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I think I know which Ikea argument you mean – I think every couple has has those moments. It’s funny how people squabble over the smallest things. I might have to give this book a go!

  • Reply
    belinda hendry
    May 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    luv books

  • Reply
    Monday Happy List - Week 87 -
    May 23, 2016 at 9:19 am

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