The Course of Love
The long-awaited and beguiling second novel from Alain de Botton that tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership, from the internationally bestselling author of On Love and How Proust Can Change Your Life.

We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” The Course of Love is a novel that explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. You experience, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy—an annotation and a guide to what we are reading.

This is a romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term. The result is a sensory experience—fictional, philosophical, psychological—that urges us to identify deeply with these characters, and to reflect on his and her own experiences in love. Fresh, visceral, and utterly compelling, The Course of Love is a provocative and life-affirming novel for everyone who believes in love.

The Course of Love Details

Book TitleThe Course of Love
Book Author
by 2,906 users

The Course of Love Reviews

  • Karen Barber
    Oct 15, 2016

    Karen Barber

    I applaud the bravery of all those people living their utterly mediocre lives (to paraphrase the author a little).A love story like no other, this is fiction that plays with our expectations. Kirsten and Rabih Khan meet, fall in love, get married and have children. What we're granted h...

  • Esther
    Oct 12, 2016


    Love.. A word with so many aspects. Not a word that you can explain very simple, that's what this book shows you.There is a nice explanation for some behavior that people show. And also lessons about your own feelings.A great book when you're in a longer relationship, or when you had a...

  • Uninvited
    Oct 5, 2016


    Very good and useful insights on how the psychology behind a relationship works in the long run. How things unfold and what may be hidden behind them. Narrated as the love story of Rabih and Kirsten, with intermittent commentary by De Botton. I didn't agree with every single thing he s...

  • Sarah
    Oct 2, 2016


    Absolutely brilliant. Insightful and almost eerily accurate portrayal of a long relationship. I could have underlined significant chunks of wisdom on almost every page. ...

  • Ginger
    Sep 27, 2016


    This book was utterly interesting and beautiful.Botton writes some lines that will live with me forever. "Compatibility is an achievement of love; it shouldn't be its precondition." and "Love is a skill, not just an enthusiasm."This prompted SO many questions and great discussions abou...

  • Zheen
    Sep 14, 2016


    In this short novel, Alain de Botton brings into light the often-misleading Romantic idea of love and offers a realistic take on the course that it takes.He knows his way around words, which I appreciated. He constructs beautiful detailed sentences the comprehending of which you are ab...

  • Evi Van Mierlo
    Sep 7, 2016

    Evi Van Mierlo

    Aanvankelijk kon ik me herkennen in de beschrijvingen van de hedendaagse liefde, die niet altijd - zoals Hollywoodiaanse media ons wil doen geloven - over wolkjes gaat. Nu hou ik niet van Hollywoodiaans en ook niet van multimedia, dus dat scheelt. Ik heb er ook niet de job naar gekozen...

  • Deea
    Sep 5, 2016


    This book is like an applied lesson of psychology: it has great insights about how to make a couple survive and how our childhoods determine patterns of behaviour in our adult lives. However, Alain de Botton has a great article on closeness that I happened to read before and this book ...

  • Х. Б. Ачболд
    Sep 5, 2016

    Х. Б. Ачболд

    The title says, "The Course of Love: A Novel," but the book works best not as a novel, but as an extremely insightful and helpful (personal) essay on the evolution of love and marriage. (If I wanted to read a novel, I would've picked up, say, Anna Karenina. I know de Botton is trying o...

  • Nicole
    Aug 27, 2016


    The Course of Love by Alain de Botton examines a couple’s relationship from beginning to unknown future, interspersed with philosophical interludes that break up the narration. This is definitely a romantic story; however, the story does not end when the characters meet and fall i...