Literature is full of romance. There is hardly a fiction book without a dose of love in it. And who could not possibly like it? Especially when the love of the characters is too good to be true.
Due to St. Valentine's Day that is coming shortly, we asked readers to tell us about their favourite romance and here is what they suggested (the order is random):
- Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen.
An old-time classic, set in England in the beginning of the 19th century, it narrates the story of Mr & Mrs Bennet's five unmarried daughters and especially Elizabeth after two rich and eligible bachelors, Mr Charles Bingley and his friend, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy move in the neighbourhood. Elizabeth and Darcy form the main protagonists of the novel. Circumstances force them to frequent each other often, learn more about their character and their differences. Love does not come easy to them; Elizabeth needs to overcome her misjudgements that are based more on prejudice rather than evidence and Darcy has to set aside his pride and status-consciousness to accept Elizabeth as she is. However, they cannot avoid falling in love and becoming one of the most memorable couples in literature. We just wish Mr Darcy were true.
- Thelma, by Marie Corelli
A Victorian love story about a breathtakingly beautiful girl called Thelma, who grows up in Norway and is taken away from her country by an English gentleman. She gets to know treachery and adventure whilst she is deeply loved in secret. Her father's man sacrifices his life for her and her husband's friend never shows his feelings. Thelma gives birth to a daughter, who ends up marrying one of these men. It is a sweet and tender story of love and passion, a good, old-fashioned romance that never stops to fascinate.
- Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon
Mixing historical fiction, adventure, fantasy and romance, the series narrates the story of Claire Randall, a 20th century nurse, who travels back in 18th century Scotland and finds love in the eyes of Jamie Fraser. It is difficult to explain who she is and how she came there, and it is hard to make herself accepted among the Scottish who loathe anything English. She has found romance, though, and this makes her extremely unwilling to go back to modern times when she gets the chance. A thrilling, enchanting romance full of adventure that will make you read for hours and wish you could be in the 1700s yourself.
- Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer
The love story between a teenager, Bella Swan, and a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen in the cloudy and rainy little town of Forks, Washington, US. The narrator is Bella, who meets Edward when she moves to Forks to live with her dad after her mother marries for a second time. She is instantly attracted to him and although things do not seem to work out for them in the beginning, they end up living a strong romance that goes beyond nature, society and dangers. "I will love you forever", literally.
- Wuthering heights, by Emily Brontë
Heathcliff and Catherine, perhaps the most powerful literary example of how destructive love can be. Heathcliff, an orphan, is brought home by Catherine's father after being found wandering the streets of Liverpool and he and the girl connect immediately. They grow close and speak of love and living together. However, circumstances develop and Catherine accepts the proposal of Edgar Linton, a man of high social status, and this decision has disastrous consequences for all the main characters. Catherine finally dies giving birth to a daughter. Heathcliff is a man of strong, cruel and violent nature, especially to those he does not care about. He is deeply hurt by this marriage and makes his life's purpose to get revenge from the man that took away his love. A powerful novel, full of strong emotions that are expressed in some of the most unforgettable dialogues in the English literature. A love that not even death can destroy.
- The Time Traveller's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
Both a romance and a fantasy novel, it is the story of Henry and Clare. Henry suffers from a rare genetic disorder that makes him travel through time against his will. He travels to Clare's childhood for the fist time when she is a six-year-old girl and he keeps visiting her at intervals until she is eighteen. They develop a relationship over time until they finally meet "in the present" and get married. As the whole novel develops among the past, the present and the future, it talks about a love that transcends time and shows how people can change through it.
- The fault in our stars, by John Green
They say that the first love is the one we never forget. What if this first love is the last one, too? Hazel and Augustus are two teenagers who suffer from cancer. They both attend a support group and feel immediate attraction for one another. They read each other's favourite books and they try to find out how one of these books end from its author. After they visit him in Amsterdam, Augustus' health deteriorates and soon afterwards he dies. It's a sweet, tender and heartbreaking love story that will stay in your mind and heart long after you finish the book.
- Brokeback Mountain, by Annie Proulx
Better known as a film, this short story focuses on the intense emotional and sexual affair of two young men, who are hired to look after the sheep at the grazing range on the Brokeback Mountain. They separate when the season is over, but they cannot forget each other. They keep their relationship though brief encounters for the next two decades beside their lives as husbands and fathers.
This list covers only a few of all the wonderful stories of love and passion. Which is your favourite one?
[written by FK for Walkley Library]