I now consider it quite unfortunate that I have not read any other novels by Gabriel Garcia Marquez up until this point. This is one of those books that I had been meaning to read for quite some time, but some how had never managed to do so. Fortunately, I have now corrected that and plan to read much more of his work in the future.
This magical novel, set in the mythical town of Macondo, follows the rise and fall of the Buendia family. Jose Arcadio Buendia and Ursula Iguaran are the heads of the Buendia clan and founders of Macondo. They inhabit this book and the town of Macondo with a fierce tenacity set on the survival and success of their clan. But while the Buendia clan does seem set on survival its members somehow always end up striving for this on their own. In life, love, war and death this is a family of individuals fighting their own very personal battles.
Each Buendia lives in a world that is self created. Amaranta looses her one true love and lives in a world of bitter jealously and resentment, never allowing another into her heart. She never finds peace even when she eventually accepts that she will die before her rival and sister, Rebbecca. Colonel Aureliano Beundia who fought 37 battles and won none retreats into his own world saying “I am sorry, but the war has done away with everything.” Melquiades, a traveling magic man of sorts, haunts the novel even after his death. But that is not so unusual for death in this world is never the end of things– it is merely a different way of being.
Too vast to pin down to any one place this novel takes over and envelopes you into its world. Taking much care that you enter alone- for it is the only way to truly grasp the heart-wrenching beauty of One Hundred Years of Solitude.