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From one of our great thinkers on modern life and the human condition - an unforgettable story of love and marriage from the author of bestselling novel Essays in Love as well as The Consolations of Philosophy, Religion for Atheists and The School of Life
'The Course of Love probes the very heart of marriage, its shifts and squalls, its great adventure, with such forensic tenderness. I laughed a lot, too' Deborah Moggach
'Engaging, sympathetic, acutely perceptive... There's a refreshing honesty in what de Botton has to say' Guardian
'Anyone who is, has been, or would ever like to be, in a satisfying, successful relationship, would do well to read de Botton' Irish Independent
'He debunks the myth of the happily ever after with a painfully familiar, often hilarious detailing of petty arguments, the occasional extra-marital fling, the moments of loneliness and the declining frequency of sex... It's not only hugely enjoyable but life enhancing too' Daily Mail
Modern love is never easy. Society is obsessed with stories of romance, but what comes after happily ever after?
This is a love story with a difference. From dating to marriage, from having kids to having affairs, it follows the progress of a single ordinary relationship: tender, messy, hilarious, painful, and entirely un-Romantic. It is a love story for the modern world, chronicling the daily intimacies, the blazing rows, the endless tiny gestures that make up a life shared between two people. Moving and deeply insightful, The Course of Love offers us a window into essential truths about the nature of love.
Bestselling philosopher de Botton (How Proust Can Change Your Life), whose nonfiction tackles life's big questions, traces the intricate and winding path of a long-term relationship in his second novel. Rabih Khan, from Beirut, and Kirsten McClelland, from Scotland, meet and fall in love. De Botton outlines the contours of a love that endures yet inevitably evolves over the years, through Rabih's sudden proposal, the birth of their two children, and the act and consequences of adultery. The story of Rabih and Kirsten is interspersed on almost every page with de Botton's italicized manifesto of universal truths about love and romance, such as "Love is a search for completion." As readers watch Rabih and Kirsten work, fight, make love, and take risks, de Botton does something interesting: he will rewind a scene, usually an argument, and play it again to illustrate how loving, mature people should react, rather than how they typically do. At points, de Botton seems distant from his characters, as if they were created to illustrate his beliefs about love. But when Rabih and Kirsten are debating the details of petty humiliations and letdowns, they feel completely alive and real. The novel is a valuable commentary on the state of modern marriage and it reassures us that troubles are a normal, even necessary, part of the journey.