To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I thought we might take a look at some favorite love stories. I’ve compiled a short list containing books that don’t fall into the romance genre, but have strong romantic elements.
Pride and Prejudice
The Princess Bride
The Time-Traveler’s Wife
The Painted Veil
Snow Falling on Cedars
Le Morte de Arthur: King Arthur and the Legends of the Roundtable
Anne of Avonlea
It’s just a partial list and I know you could add some fabulous choices of your own.
These stories are more than romance but would not be the same stories without it. Emotional tension weaves through the plot - the kind of tension with which we can all identify. It moves the story along, raising the stakes. People, society, misunderstandings and forces of nature conspire against the lovers and threaten to keep them apart.
I recently read an article that declared Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre to be romances, but Gone With the Wind and Romeo and Juliet to be love stories. The difference was in the endings. Romances have emotionally satisfying and optimistic endings, but love stories do not. The characters may not end up together in a ‘happy ever after,’ but we are given to believe that their love is declared in a way that eternally binds them, and for certain stories, that’s enough.
I’m not against the optimistic ending, but sometimes a love story is called for. Which do you prefer and why, or would you like to add a book to the list? We’d love to hear from you.