Love Story – Erich Segal
March 10, 2010 § 32 Comments
What can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died?
I must say, that is one good opening line. It’s the kind of sentence that gets you curious about what the story might be like. It gets you wondering, what exactly can you say about a 25-year-old girl who died? In a nutshell, Love Story is the result of Erich Segal asking that question, a book about love that seems so ordinary and so everyday, yet so strong and unyielding.
The overall plot might be one that’s kind of overused these days: wealthy upper-class and super-jock boy Oliver meets poor, hardworking but extremely attractive working class girl Jennifer and they fall desperately in love with each other. Right from the first line we know that Jennifer dies in the end, and the story is only Oliver telling us what it was like between the both of them when they had it good.
This is the book that immortalised the phrase:
Love means not ever having to say you’re sorry.
In fact, the phrase is so well-known, I actually heard of the phrase before I even knew who Erich Segal was! Incidentally though, or maybe it’s because the phrase is already so hyped about, I found that it was not the sentence that appealed to me the most. It was this:
What I loved so much about Jenny was her ability to see inside me, to understand things I never needed to carve out in words.
I actually believe in this kind of love, where you can be sure that your partner completely understands what you’re thinking or might be going through, without needing you to spell it out. It’s the kind of love that’s not fancy, not over-the-top, but rather quite simple and down-to-earth. It’s the kind of love that feels comfortable, almost like wearing wooly socks on a cold winter’s night.
This book may not be the kind that makes it into literary lists, but it did give me the fuzzies. And sometimes, drifitng off into a story like this might just be the break your brain needs.
* Note: Erich Segal passed away earlier this year at the age of 72.