Reading on Valentine’s Day
Today is Valentine’s Day or Lover’s Day!
Many novels speak about love, passion … and about all possible sufferings that are linked to love.
Which are the best love stories ?
The best novel about love is the one that meets our romantic need of the moment. A story evoking the first emotions during the college years will become the most beautiful love story of teenagers. Later in life, the novel about marital affairs will be more in line with the needs of the reader who wants to find an echo of his own experiences. Still later on, the loss of the loved one will find some consolation in the stories of the protagonists confronted with the mourning of the soul mate.
So, it is only you, reader, who has all the keys in hand to decide which is your best romance, the one which has marked your sentimental life by bringing you the necessary comfort or by guiding you in your own sentimental life.
Love stories that go beyond personal experiences
It is true that some love stories have marked literature and go on charming readers. These tales full of romanticism and heroic adventures do not really resemble the everyday life of the one who is seaching for love. However, the reader will be able to find an echo of his own feelings, and even a welcome escape to celebrate love in good company.
Among the most beautiful love stories in literature, there are for example the following best-sellers :
It is the ideal love story that everyone has heard about at school, or seen performed in the theater or at the cinema . But how many of you have read Shakespeare’s novel written in the 16th century. Being inspired by tragic love stories dating back to ancient times, as well as by an Italian tale, Shakespeare wrote this dramatic masterpiece whose main theme is love.
“Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs;
Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vex’d, a sea nourish’d with lovers’ tears;
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet”
Jane Austen is an English woman of letters (1775-1817) who has probably suffered from a sentimental disappointment. Thanks to an exchange of letters with her sister Cassandra, it is to be supposed that Jane was in love with a young Irishman called Tom Lefroy. During the two years when they came to meet each other, Jane Austen wrote the two novels mentioned here. After Tom Lefroy’s wedding with another woman, Jane Austen has stopped writing for a decade. Her love disappointment may be the reason thereof.
The movie “Becoming Jane” (2007) by Julian Jarrold was inspired by this love story.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” (Pride and Prejudice)
“I could not be happy with a man whose taste did not in every point coincide with my own. He must enter in all my feelings; the same books, the same music must charm us both.” (Sense and Sensibility)
The Brontë family has had dark and painful moments, but the written works of the son and daughters have survived through the centuries. The novels of the Brontë sisters are world famous and much appreciated. The omnipresence of nature in all its states reflects the feelings, passions and torments of the characters in their respective novels, as well as those that undoubtedly shaked the life of the Brontë sisters.
“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” (Wuthering Heights)
The plot of this love story takes place during the Civil War in America (1861-1865). The protagonists love each other at the wrong time, being mistaken by their own feelings and those of others.
“She saw in his eyes defeat of her wild dreams, her mad desires.”
Published in 1947, Boris Vian’s novel looks like both an enchanting tale and a tremendous story of dreamlike love in which illness and death break in.
“We remember the good times much better; so what are the bad for? “
“One person is missing and the whole place is deserted” said Lamartine
Certainly, but Paul Desalmand also said “There are really only two things that can change a human being: a great love or reading a big book.” So when love is missing, or when Cupid is playing ugly tricks with us, then let’s quickly find the good novel that will reconcile us with life !
Which novel to choose to relieve one’s heartache ?
« Lire pour guérir d’une peine de coeur » (=Read to heal a heartache)
by Nathalie Cailteux
My reader’s memory has helped me to realize this French compilation which gathers 24 proposals of novels likely to cheer up the ones who suffer from heartache. If it is possible to categorize love pains, this book lists novels according to various sentimental sorrows (passionate and / or platonic sorrow during youth, crumbling of love within the couple, sentimental rupture, man heartache, suffering after a mourning …). Far away from me the ambition to cover the whole field of sentimental emotions, but I really hope that these proposed novels will help the greatest number of you. You will note that the mentioned books belong to a variety of genres (romantic frescoes, humorous stories, classic works, modern novels, including a novel being part of the Oulipo movement); my goal was to target as many literary affinities as possible.
Of course your comments on Amazon or on this blog will be much appreciated.
Happy reading to all ! and Happy Valentine’s Day !