"Once upon a time a man who had become invisible arrived in America." An unlikely and unforgettable hero, Leo Gursky is a survivor -- of war, of love, and of loneliness. A retired locksmith, Leo does his best to get by. He measures the passage of days by the nightly arrival of the delivery boy from the Chinese restaurant and has arranged a code with his upstairs neighbor: Three taps on the radiator means, "ARE YOU ALIVE?, two means YES, one NO." But it wasn't always so. Sixty years earlier, before he fled Poland for New York, Leo met a girl named Alma and fell in love. He wrote a book and named the character in it after his beloved. Years passed, lives changed, and unbeknownst to Leo, the book survived. And it provides Leo -- in the eighth decade of his life -- with a link to the son he's never known.
How this long-lost book makes an extraordinary reappearance and connects the lives of disparate characters is only one of the small miracles The History of Love offers its readers. Rich, inventive, and continually surprising, this is a novel about lost love, found love, and rediscovered love; it is about where we find love when it seems all too elusive and what happens when we do. In short, it is a triumph. (Summer 2005 Selection)