The Course of Love

Cover of the book, The Course of Love.

Written by:

Published by: Hamish Hamilton

★★★★★
★★★★★

4.04, based on 18,778 reviews.

Goodreads says:

"An engrossing tale that provides plenty of food for thought" (People, Best New Books pick), this playful, wise, and profoundly moving second novel from the internationally bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership.The long-awaited and beguiling second novel from Alain de Botton that tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership, from the internationally bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life. De Botton's essay "Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person" (The New York Times, May 28, 2016), which draws from The Course of Love, was the #1 most emailed article for days.We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as "happily ever after." The Course of Love is a novel that explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. You experience, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy—an annotation and a guide to what we are reading.This is a Romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term. The result is a sensory experience—fictional, philosophical, psychological—that urges us to identify deeply with these characters and to reflect on his and her own experiences in love. Fresh, visceral, and utterly compelling, The Course of Love is a provocative and life-affirming novel for everyone who believes in love.

Waterstones says:

A marriage doesn’t begin with a proposal, or even an initial meeting. It begins far earlier, when the idea of love is born, and more specifically the dream of a soul mate.

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. His first novel for twenty years, The Course of Love is Alain de Botton's 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.

‘This is a wise book, and a delightful and witty one too. It makes you think and feel. You will learn something about yourself and about other people.’ – The Scotsman


Rating breakdown

★★★★★
★★★★★
4.04 out of 5 stars (18,778 ratings)
5 36% (6,838 ratings)
4 38% (7,221 ratings)
3 19% (3,578 ratings)
2 4% (845 ratings)
1 2% (296 ratings)

About Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life. He can be contacted by email directly via www.alaindebotton.com

He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday life.'

His first book, Essays in Love [titled On Love in the US], minutely analy...
[Read more about Alain de Botton]


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