Acts Of Love
They met as children, innocents from two different worlds. And from that moment their lives were fated to be forever entwined. The unforgettable story of three extraordinary lives... and one forbidden love.
The three characters are Timothy, Daniel and Deborah. The book is written in the form of 'self narration' by all three of them. I liked this style of writing as it gives all characters different perspective. Writing for oneself and giving opinion about others gives us kind of broad outlook for the characters. It also shows us different angles of same happening! So I think it is very difficult to write in this style. Erich Segal had given justice to all the three characters.
The book impressed me from it's first page. After the dedication page, he had quoted a verse by St. Augustine, Confessions X.27:-
"Too late came I to love you, O Beauty both so ancient and so new! Too late came I to love you - and behold you were within me all the time..."
This verse shows you the depth of the story you are about to read.
This story gives us in detailed description of these three lives, the twists and turns in their lives, the small incidences that cast shadows in their lives. The decisions they made in life and how these decisions affected their lives. It gives us all the information about customs and traditions in Jew as well as Christian religion.
All the three characters in this story are strong willed. They are intertwined still they are independent. They all are fighting their own battle of life. They have faith on the religion they are following, on themselves as well as on each other. None of these characters follow the religion as they are told. By customs and tradition. They ask their own questions. They struggle to find their own answers. They make mistakes. They are branded as rebels. But still in the end they all have a winning, satisfying life. May be all the answers they found are not correct. May be some questions were unanswered but still we could not resist being happy for them.
The characters of Daniel and Deborah remind us of our cultural drawbacks some years back.
Daniel: The only son of Rabbi, i.e.Priest of special branch of Jewish religion. He was Born after three sisters so he had burden of his father's expectations. He was in a constant state of anxiety, fearing he might disappoint him in some way. His Papa cast a long shadow over his life. What was innocent for others somehow was regarded as unworthy when it came to him.
First he struggled to satisfy his father's expectations then he came to the conclusion that he couldn't do that and he wanted to live a totally different life. So afterwards he struggled to satisfy expectations of himself!
Deborah: She had a great potential and had restrictions of culture and customs. She was raised to be docile and dutiful - the perfect rabbi's wife. But in the way of love to Timothy she turns rebellious. She made many friends who taught her many intellectual things and changed the way of her life. She became a very learned person. She loved Timothy with all her heart and soul but never expected a life with him as it is the leap of faiths.
Timothy was born angry. He was a son of a mad woman and unknown father. He was raised by his maternal aunt and uncle. All the pain in the childhood turned into the ambition in the youth. He had a dazzling career within the catholic church. After 14 turbulent years he came back to his true love.
Writer has kept the suspense of who might be Timothy's father up to the point that we almost start to panic with him.
Writer keeps us bound to the book many days after we finish reading. This is a really good read.