There are spoilers contained below. You should stop reading now if you do not wish to have parts of the story disclosed.
This has been on my to-read list for a while, and I was very excited to see this as the May selection for the MR Literary Book Club selection. However, it has been a while since I have been so disappointed in a book! I found the first 1/2 of the book almost painful to read, and overall, it was a very slow read for me... I agree with most of the comments posted by FantasyFan and Hamlet53. A few thoughts:
-- I also did not see this as a "great love story".
-- I wanted to yell out to Ariza "Get over it and move on" when love was not returned -- particularly since the two individuals barely, if at all spoke or spent time with each other, and their "love" was only thru letters. I felt like his love for Fermina really fell into the category of being OCD.
--Ariza (as an older man) has slept with 622+females, including taking advantage/being a predator of a 14 year old girl who he was guardian for, and who committed suicide as a result. He then tells Fermina he "remained a virgin" for you.
I enjoyed the rich portraits of characters spanning most of their lifetime and the writing style. I guess one of the take-aways that I have is there are many different types of love.