Summary: The book, divided into six extensive chapters, tells us in a novel framed during the new hispanic-american narrative, the love triangle existent among the three main characters: Juvenal Urbino, Fermina Daza y Florentino Ariza. At the beginning Fermina and Juvenal, appear as two elderly people; him, almost 80 years old and her, 71, already married and it is clear that he will soon die. There is a story telling of Dr. Urbino''s life, his knowledge of Fermina, his marriage, and the death of Juvenal''s friend and companion, the fugitive Jeremiah de Saint Amour. The death of Juvenal when he fell off a staircase, trying to catch the parrot he had trained, unleaches the declaration of eternal love that Florentino made to Fermina Daza. The book does not follow a sequence of events, but rather tells the events with reference to the past and in that way gives the facts and uncovers the characters and happenings in a way that the narrative jumps from one era to the other. Since Florentino Ariza saw Fermina for the first time, when he went to her house to bring her a telegram, he falls in love with her, and begins to court her with his passionate letters and to watch her from a bench located at a park across from her house. In spite of the fact that for a time she refused to correspond, she later submitted to that love and that''s when she found her father''s opposition, who sent her far away so she could forget him. After a period, when she returns and sees Florentino, she is disappointed by that platonic love, and refuses him. After a short time, she meets Dr. Juvenal Urbino, who had returned from Paris after finishing his studies in medicine. After a brief relation, and encouraged by her father, they married, eventhough she was not in love with him. They embark on a two year trip to Paris and Europe and she returns pregnant with her first child, changed, and like a happy couple who have had the time to fall in love.
During this time Florentino has thought about her the whole time and in spite of the fact that he does not keep his promise to remain virgin for her, and has numerous love relationships, he continues to be in love and decided that one day she would be his, that is, when her husband dies. That''s why when the husband dies, at the end of the burial he approaches Fermina and reiterates his loyalty and his love of many years and makes himself available to her. Confronted with this inopportune declaration, with her husband''s body just buried, Fermina asks Florentino to leave and tells him she does not want to see him ever again. Florentino does not take no for an answer and starts sending her up to 131 letters, until he overcomes Florentina''s resistance, who agrees to see him at his house. The visits become more frequent and the days go by, until Fermina is convinced to make a trip down the Magdalena river, in one of the ships owned by Florentino''s Maritime Company, with the idea that she finally overcomes her mourning. Florentino accompanies her on that trip and it is on that ship called New Fidelity, in a room that Florentino always thought would be for the two of them, when Fermina finally falls into Florentino''s arms and the moment in which during 53 years, 7 months, and 11 days with it''s nights, he had waited for, is fullfilled, to come and go for an indefinite time through the river, on the ship, and show this way that love perseveres and that more than death, it is life that has no limits!