Love is in the air and on the page
Book lovers have various ways to find their next read: recommendations from friends, book clubs, the new release table at the local bookstore, book lists found online and the library. From the classics to 2022 people’s choice winners, this month we are looking at love stories to fill your February.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is a classic book and widely considered one of the greatest love stories in English. Written in 1847 in the Gothic Romance tradition, some argue that it is not a romance novel in the way we view the genre today. It is not for the faint of heart and *spoiler* does not have the happy ending we come to expect in romance books today. From the back cover blurb: “In the relationship of Cathy and Heathcliff, and in the wild, bleak Yorkshire Moors of its setting, Wuthering Heights creates a world of its own, conceived with a disregard for convention, and an instinct for poetry and for the dark depths of human psychology that makes it one of the greatest novels of passion ever written.”
Book Lovers by Emily Henry is the 2022 Goodreads Choice Award winner for best romance. It is a contemporary romance about two book people, a cutthroat literary agent and a brooding editor, who are thrown together again and again.
Friends and Foes by Sarah M. Eden is a Regency romance novel. It is the first book of seven in The Jonquil Brothers series. Mutual repugnance slowly softens as Philip and Sorrel keep running into each other and eventually team up against a common foe. The original title is Affectations.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen created the model for the modern romance genre and romantic comedies over 200 years ago. It is a witty comedy about manners of Regency England. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett spar repeatedly against the backdrop of social norms and mores, but theirs is the ultimate “happily ever after” story.
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a Christian historical fiction romance book set in the hardscrabble rough and tumble California gold rush. Angel trusts no man until Michael Hosea slowly thaws her frozen heart. Overcome by feelings of unworthiness and fear she runs until she ultimately turns to God for healing. “A life-changing story of God’s unconditional, redemptive, all-consuming love,” states the back cover blurb.
Stardust by Neil Gaiman was nominated for and won several literary awards in 1999 and 2000. It is a fantasy romance story with a good dose of magic thrown in. Motivated by his love for a girl, Tristian faces the unknown beyond the village wall. He finds himself in the land of Faerie – where nothing is what he imagined. The original title is Stardust: Being a Romance within the Realms of Faerie. It was made into a movie in 2007 starring Claire Danes, Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.
By Celeste McNeil; courtesy photos