I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles
Published by Penguin on January 26th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Humorous, Romance, General
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A romantic comedy for language lovers and fans of The Rosie Project, about a brainy bachelor and the cat that opens his eyes to life’s little pleasures
The Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick:“A delightfully absurd, life-affirming celebration. I literally stood up and cheered as I read the last page.”
When Samuel, a lonely linguistics lecturer, wakes up on New Year’s Day, he is convinced that the year ahead will bring nothing more than passive verbs and un-italicized moments—until an unexpected visitor slips into his Barcelona apartment and refuses to leave. The appearance of Mishima, a stray, brindle-furred cat, becomes the catalyst that leads Samuel from the comforts of his favorite books, foreign films, and classical music to places he’s never been (next door) and to people he might never have met (a neighbor with whom he’s never exchanged a word). Even better, the Catalan cat leads him back to the mysterious Gabriela, whom he thought he’d lost long before, and shows him, in this international bestseller for fans of The Rosie Project, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, and The Guest Cat, that sometimes love is hiding in the smallest characters.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Love In Lowercase by Francesc Miralles probably lost a little bit in translation when it came to a person like myself reading this book. Don’t get me wrong, it is very cute and adorable, but I just don’t find myself overly in love with it. Or maybe, it is a me thing. I do not often read translated books, but maybe I should give more of them a chance and expose myself to more cultures. Anyways, I am digressing. Love In Lowercase apparently is supposed to be similar to the Rosie Project which I have not read at all, but I went into it basing all my expectations on the cover which reminded me a little tiny bit of Read Bottom Up which I actually loved.
Love In Lowercase is about this guy named Samuel who lives alone. It opens up around the end of the holiday season. He hears a strange scratching at the door and goes to find out what it is, and it turns out that it’s a cat at the door. The cat won’t go away so Samuel lets the cat inside and feeds it a saucer of milk. From there, he names the cat Mishima and the cat basically leads up to meeting different people and widening his circle. Eventually, through a series of events, Samuel ends up seeing a girl from his past, Gabriella, and finds himself obsessed with her and believes he is in love with her.
Samuel is a professor of German literature. He’s like 37 or so. He essentially only has his sister and her husband as people he spends time with outside of work. Other than that, he has no friends and no romantic attachments. I think that if not for reading about him from his point of view, I would probably find him a little bit creepy. But at the same time, I get the whole loner thing. I get that when you get older, if you don’t have kids or family maybe it is a little harder to make friends. Either way, Miralles did certainly excel at portraying the loneliness of Samuel. Also, he’s very intellectual and philosophical which is kind of neat as well.
So, I guess when I started Love In Lowercase, based off the summary, I was expecting an intense love of your life one who got away sort of romance. I did not get that from this book. Instead, Gabriella is actually a girl who Samuel met in his childhood during a game of hide and seek. They really only had like one major encounter. I found myself really skeptical of how much value Samuel placed on it. I thought he came across as a bit pushy too, making her go on dates with him when she wasn’t entirely feeling it. Also, he knows like 3 things about Gabriella and professes to be in love with her. WHAT.
Love In Lowercase by Francesc Miralles takes place in Spain and I think it is supposed to take place in the present. However, it feels like it is taking place in the past. Like no one in this book seems to have cell phones. They still have answering machines. People still use payphones. I found myself feeling really jarred by that. I mean, I do not know a whole lot about Spanish culture, but I would have assumed they have the same technology as America. However, beyond my disdain for the lack of modern day technology and the romance, I did like he friendships Samuel comes to form with two different men. I do like how the book resolves itself. I also liked the examination of words and phrases that do not exist in other languages. This book certainly has its strengths, however, it is not one that I personally will return to.
Other reviews of Love In Lowercase by Francesc Miralles:
Beth Fish Reads – “a charming story of loneliness, love, and friendship”
Alyssa Goodnight – “this book was…interesting, but also tedious”
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