7 Love Stories Every Living Person Should Read
Great love stories come in many forms. From literary classics to peppy YA, these are seven genre jumping books guaranteed to tug your heartstrings.
Winner of the 1989 Man Booker Prize, The Remains of the Day is a profoundly compelling portrait of the perfect English butler and his unspoken love for the housekeeper of the stately home in which he serves. As he embarks on a road trip to visit Miss Kenton in 1956, he looks back over 30 years of loyal service, and their time together at Darlington Hall in the years leading up to the second world war. This masterful study of repression, regret and a dying class system was later adapted to an equally beautiful film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson.
What makes a marriage? Is it the end of fairytale romance? It might be if your husband is the writer Mr. Fox, who does devilish things to the heroines of his stories. His wife is unable to change his ways, but when his imaginary muse, Mary Foxe conjures herself one sunny afternoon and confronts him, things take an unexpected turn. Mr. Fox is a love story like no other. Written by the extraordinarily gifted young Brit Helen Oyeyemi, it’s a magical book—as witty and charming as it is profound in its truths about how we learn to be with one another.
Five years after losing his wife, Calvin Trillin (who often wrote about his wife during his long career as a journalist, poet, and novelist) offered this loving portrait of his Alice Trillin off the page—an educator who was equally at home teaching at a university or a drug treatment center, a gifted writer, a stunningly beautiful and thoroughly engaged woman who, in the words of a friend, “managed to navigate the tricky waters between living a life you could be proud of and still delighting in the many things there are to take pleasure in.” Though it deals with devastating loss, About Alice is above all else a love story.
Waldman plunges into the psyche of a flawed, sometimes infuriating modern man—one who thinks of himself as beyond superficial judgment, yet constantly struggles with his own status anxiety, who is drawn to women, yet has a habit of letting them down in ways that may just make him an emblem of our times. An absorbing tale of one young man's search for happiness—and an inside look at how he really thinks about women, sex and love.
In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is devastated, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs--yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.
Yet another Booker Prize winner, Possession traces a pair of young academics—Roland Michell and Maud Bailey—as they uncover a clandestine love affair between two long-dead Victorian poets. Interwoven in a mesmerizing pastiche are love letters and fairytales, extracts from biographies and scholarly accounts, creating a clever and utterly delightful novel of ideas and passions.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Bold and insightful, The Fault in Our Stars explores the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.
Honourable Mentions: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Must You Go? By Antonia Fraser, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin