In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children — but no 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. With philosophical insight and psychological acumen, Alain de Botton shows that our Romantic dreams may do us a grave disservice — and explores what the alternatives might be. The conclusion, as the characters gradually discover, is that love is not "an enthusiasm," but rather a "skill" that must be slowly and often painfully learnt. This is a Romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term.