Title: Love Story
Author: Erich Segal
Review by: Pankaj Sharma
‘You look stupid and rich,’ she said, removing her glasses.
You’re wrong,’ I protested. I’m actually smart and poor.’
‘Oh, no, Preppie. I’m smart and poor.’
‘What the hell makes you so smart?’ I asked.
‘I wouldn’t go for coffee with you,’ she answered.
‘Listen – I wouldn’t ask you.’
‘That,’ she replied, ‘is what makes you stupid.’
He is Oliver Barrett IV, a Harvard student and a law aspirant hailing from a riches-of-the-riches clan.
She is Jenny Cavilleri, an outspoken, confident and wisecracking music student at Radcliffe from a poor progeny with a dad baking cookies somewhere in Rhode Island.
Cupid strikes between two individuals with contrasting personalities and progenies. Rich dad disapproves the union and the rich lover defies its progeny. Poor dad gives a reluctant nod and soon they get married. The once-a-rich-lover without progeny becomes a poor husband. The poor girlfriend works and pays the rent. But in their self-invited misery and adversities what never runs out of stock is their love for each other, which continues to prosper. They continue to grow richer in love with every passing day.
But soon this phase of poverty is also over. The poor husband becomes a rich lawyer. The life becomes a bed of roses again. Just when you start to believe that everything’s fallen in place and long to see them living happily ever after, there comes the heartbreak that replaces the smiles at readers’ face with an expression associated with being agape. Lump chokes the esophagus and you ask only one question, ‘Why?’
No, it’s not a plot of some Bollywood movie; it is, in fact, an inspiration of a thousand movies across the movie. It’s Love Story by Erich Segal, the saga of true love inspiring millions and millions lovers throughout the globe since decades.
It’s a classic novel not for some sophisticated but complicated literary standards but for its soul that’s pure. The witty conversations that begin with arguments but end at romantic notes simply take my heart away.
‘Fuck ‘em, Oliver. I don’t want to waste two days bullshitting with a bunch of vapid preppies.’
‘Okay, Jen, but what should I tell them?’
‘Just say I’m pregnant, Oliver.’
‘Are you?’ I asked.
‘No, but if we stay home this weekend I might be.’
No mushy descriptions and no fairy-tale sequences, yet incredibly romantic. It makes you smile, even laugh at some situations and then a painful lump followed by some wetness at the corner of your eyes or a downpour depending how well you knew Olie and Jen.
Though I am apologetically late to say this but I have to – do read this classic love story if you haven’t yet.
‘Jenny, I’m sorry’.
‘Stop!’ she cut off my apology, then said very quietly, “Love means not ever having to say you’re sorry.’