Yes, it’s the day of love, so our bookish souls can’t help but think about some of our favorite love stories. Here they are — in no particular order.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Jennifer)
I loved this book the first time I read it. I rode through the hype and listened to it again recently. I was reminded what a great love story it is. First love is a special thing, and to see Hazel opening herself up to love is a wonderful experience. In addition, the element of the doomed love of a terminally ill teen, adds unique emotion to the mix. There’s also the delicious addition of the deep love for a book/author that will resonate with all booklovers who have been touched by a special book.
Want more? Read my full review of The Fault in Our Stars.
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Dawn)
What’s a love story without some hardship? There’s nothing boring about the relationship between Clare and Henry in this novel that I couldn’t help but talk about here one more time. Each time I’ve read this since it came out ten years ago, I’ve been struck by the devotion they show each other, through some serious challenges. (What could be more serious than uncontrollable time traveling?) When they meet throughout time as Henry time travels, the compassion they show each other is remarkable. Life is in no way easy for them, and the pains that they suffer could even be used to support the argument that love opens people up to too much hurt.
But the joys have to outweigh it all, especially in their incredible daughter Alba (the protagonist in Niffenegger’s upcoming sequel novel- read more about a sneak preview!) and in the final scene, which leaves me sobbing like a lovesick fool every time. (But don’t trust the movie– they changed the ending in a significant way!) The love between Henry and Clare transcends time, both literally and figuratively.
Atonement by Ian McEwan (Elizabeth)
No, I’m not crazy. I’m well aware this isn’t an especially romantic book, and indeed that the point of the book is not relationships, but rather dealing with a horrible mis-step in childhood with a ripple effect that changed several lives forever, and not in positive ways. But there’s something about the romance in this book that has always seems particularly, well, romantic. The doomed love between Cecilia and Robbie, crossing classes and enduring over time, stands out to me when I think of literary romance.
Don’t see the movie though; it isn’t a good adaptation. The novel Atonement is well-written and heart-breaking and yet so true to life. I loved it.
Courting Greta by Ramsey Hootman (Jennifer)
This book came out of nowhere and grabbed my heart. It’s a love story between two misfits. Samuel is a short slight man crippled by spina bifida who has left his financially lucrative career to make a difference teaching in high school. Greta is just as her name might connote, a tall, robust basketball coach. Getting to know these characters and wondering if they were going to find true love was such a delight, and proved that regardless of what is on the outside, inside all of us is a heart that is made to love and be loved.
Read my review of Courting Greta.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Nancy)
The first book that jumps to mind when I think of books about love is Pride and Prejudice. Which is kind of amusing, since Darcy and Elizabeth don’t actually get together until the end, with his pride and her prejudice getting in the way. And maybe I have Colin Firth swaying my judgment. But no one writes love like Jane Austen, and the scene where he admits he loves her makes me swoon every time. And of course it’s funny and has characters you can thoroughly hate to counteract all of the lovey dovey stuff.
Read Jennifer’s Books on Screen post on Pride and Prejudice and Lisa’s Classics Book Club post for more on this novel.
Have you read any of these? Have we added any books to your TBR pile? Are there any other great love stories that you’d like to suggest to us? Leave us a comment and let us know.
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I agree about Colin Firth! It does make thinking about the book and story much sweeter. And this is a great love story — a true classic.
I’m definitely going to re-read The Time Traveler’s Wife, Dawn. I did love it when I read it, and there are scenes that are still stuck in my mind even after one reading.
Ginny Kubitz Moyer says
“The House at Tyneford” was a memorable and unusual love story. It was also one that was handled deftly by the author, I thought. And yes to “P and P”!