Love is rather impotent and pitiful: My father must have told me a million times how much he loved me, but that emotion – assuming it was even real – hardly had the strength to counter the many other acts of wrong he committed against me. Contrary to romance novels and the love-conquers-all mentality that even those of us who grow up in an era of divorce are – in response to some atavistic instinct – still raised to believe, love is always a product and a victim of circumstances. It is fragile and small.