Should be called Chlamydia in the Time of Cholera: World's least romantic book.
Elderly doctor comes home and tries to catch a parrot in his garden and falls from a ladder and dies.
At the funeral his grieving wife is approached by a former not-lover who immediately proposes and she throws him out.
Doctor's wife is a young teen and is spotted through her window by the illegitimate son of a wealthy man (future funereal proposer). Her aunt facilitates their romance of poetic love letters being passed.
Her wealthy former criminal father discovers her clandestine teen romance and takes her away from the city casting out her aunt who dies later in a leper colony.
Girl takes the long trip and intends to marry the boy when she returns from the trip, but when she sees him she realizes that their love was juvenille and asks him to go away.
He falls into an obsessive sulk culminating in countless (hundreds of) sexual encounters bereft of any emotional intimacy, including affairs which ruined the lives of the women, and led to the violent murder of at least one. -Women including those married, widowed, and prostitutes (including women that he effectively turns into prostitutes)-. Rejects any real relationship with any woman to (and I am not making this up) wait for his former sweetheart's husband (maybe 30 when they marry) to die.
Meanwhile the girl is wooed and marries the dapper young doctor that is the toast of the town bringing her father the legitimacy he desires. Though the marriage has its ups and downs, she is generally happy. The boy, now a creepy man stalks her endlessly entering poetry contests in the hopes of winning so that he can hear her (wife of benefactor) say his name again etc. etc.
I assume that these "star crossed lovers" eventually get together at the end of the book, but I am not entirely sure as I couldn't finish this monstrosity of misogynistic claptrap.
Loving someone does not involve keeping diaries explicitly documenting your sexual encounters with numerous other women while you wait for their widowhood.
I don't know much about being in love, but love does not stalk. Love does not pollute themselves with hookers, then hop into bed. Love does not trample countless marriages while waiting for the marital commitment of an uninterested other.
The fact that women have found this book romantic just proves two things:
1. They don't respect themselves.
2. Have no idea what love is.
A part of me hopes that any woman who finds this book romantic is allowed to enjoy a relationship with a narcissistic womanizing obsessive pathetic stalker along the lines of the book. Maybe if they're lucky they can be the heroin of the story who is merely the 300th woman to sleep with him rather than assuming the role of the hookers, women who loved him that he just wanted fuck, or the woman murdered by her husband after stalker-man wrote "this is my pussy" on her. (Ah, romance!)