The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan
Publication Date: January 17, 2012 by Picador
How does one talk about love? Is it even possible to describe something at once utterly mundane and wholly transcendent, that has the power to consume our lives completely, while making us feel part of something infinitely larger than ourselves? Taking a unique approach to this age-old problem, the nameless narrator of David Levithan’s The Lover’s Dictionary constructs the story of a relationship as a dictionary. Through these sharp entries, he provides an intimate window into the great events and quotidian trifles of coupledom, giving us an indelible and deeply moving portrait of love in our time.
I absolutely loved this book. It’s a love story told by giving definitions to words, with the definitions telling the story itself.
It took time before I fully understood how the story was going, but when it struck me, strike me it did.
You know the kind of moment when you felt like standing up because something happened and it’s worth standing up for even if you’re in the comfort of your bed, the blanket covering your body perfectly?
When I read the definition of love, I had that moment.
I’m not going to even try.
I’m going to quote some definitions to further express how I feel about this book. But I’m not going to tell you which word the definitions came from, because for a short book like this, telling you the words is like giving out spoilers.
The mistake is thinking there can be an antidote to the uncertainty.
This speaks to me in a level I cannot articulate.
Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.
You can be separate from a things and still care about it.
True. True. True. This is so true. Because we all have reasons for letting go. And most of the time, it’s not because we wanted to. Most of the time, it’s because we needed to. Because holding on would throw us off the cliff and let us loose our grip slowly until it kills us.
Maybe language is kind, giving us these double meanings. Maybe it’s trying to teach us a lesson, that we can always be two things at once.
THIS. My favorite. This somehow represents the book itself. And maybe everyone’s thoughts on everything. I believe there cannot be just one definition for any word. Language gives us the freedom to discover what a word truly means to us.
I need more books like this in my life.
Final Rating: 5/5