Book club: Essays in Love

If you want to grow more attentive to the complexities of human relationships, particularly those of a non-platonic nature, I suggest you read Alain de Botton’s novel, Essays in Love. Through two fictional characters, De Botton ingeniously describes the inevitable course that many relationships take, from first meeting each other and falling in love, to growing tired of each other and drifting apart.

 De Botton accurately depicts the transcience of love and its many illusions upon which civilisations are built; “was my sense of being in love not just the result of living in a particular cultural epoch? Was it not society, rather than authentic urge, that was motivating me to pride myself on romantic love?”

 With his philosophical and abstract gloss, De botton scrutinises over every aspect of love, concluding that “we are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease.”

 This is a clever, thought provoking book and ultimately less cynical than any description would lead you to believe. Read it at the airport or on a plane, when your curiosity about all of the strangers around you is already piqued.


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