Love arrives in various forms and shapes. It doesn’t know when or how either. Love stories have been written and spoken about since time immemorial. We have read so many heart-breaking novels centered on love that sometimes you wonder: Can anyone ever write something different on this topic? Can there be something else, a different dimension to it? I am glad that I read, “Om Love” by George Minot, because it was exactly what I wanted – a different love story, with all the clichés of love and how it changes our lives.
“Om Love” by George Minot is a typical love story, written differently. Billy, an artist falls in love with Amanda in a yoga class on a typical New York Day and wins her affection. They have some mind-blowing sex and further fall in love. Then Amanda discovers that she has a fatal disease. Billy takes care of her. She goes to India. She is cured to some extent and comes back only to fall ill all over again. The rest is revealed to the reader when he or she reads it (though it is made clear at the beginning anyway).
Now to why I think that this book is written differently? It is a love story, definitely so, and yet there is so much staccato to begin with. I found it difficult to start the book and somewhere down the line the unusual styles grew on me. At one point, the book almost reads like something straight out of a yoga position that is meant to give you the clarity and peace of mind at the end of it all, and yet filtered with joy, passion, anger, envy and so much love.
The tale of Billy and Amanda moves from lines and emotions all over the place to a steady stream of consciousness to a poignant end, and yet Minot does not lose sight of the big picture: Of love and its nature. I loved the writing. It is quiet like the river sometimes and sometimes it is in your face like an overblown theatrical act. Love is described but obviously through its twists and turns in almost every page. There is anxiety, patience and the knowledge of how to deal with situations at the end of it all.
“Om Love” was a quiet and sometimes yet a powerful and strange book for me. I have enjoyed every minute of reading this small marvel. At one point I was almost reminded of Proust (mainly because of the stream of consciousness bit) and loved it even more because of that. I would definitely recommend “Om Love” to whoever who wants to know more about love in fiction.