Bookish Passions: The greatest literary love stories of all time

Bookish Passions: The greatest literary love stories of all time
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – a time for celebrating love in all its wonderful forms. Roses and chocolates are great, but books are even better.  Here’s a list of some of the greatest literary love stories of all time to get you feeling all loved-up.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same. 

The passionate but doomed love between Catherine and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father, forms the core of this extraordinary tale. Catherine’s brother Hindley’s hatred and humiliation of Heathcliff leads to tragedy when Catherine marries another and Heathcliff returns newly wealthy to enact his revenge on all who wronged him.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland but they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years.

An exquisite love story about how a person can change another’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes new life into fiction.

Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera is a brilliantly crafted, beautifully written story of love and the love-sick. Spurned as a young man, Florentino Ariza has a half century of waiting to fill before he gets a chance to declare his love for Fermina Daze again, when her husband is killed retrieving a parrot from a mango tree. Funny, poignant and heartfelt, enduring and unrequited love have rarely been more movingly expressed.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. 

So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the original romantic comedy, brimful of wit and wisdom. When the haughty and aristocratic Darcy refuses to dance with Elizabeth Bennett, she instantly dislikes him, despite his reputation as a wealthy and eligible bachelor. Are her first impressions correct, or is there more to Darcy than meets the eye? Sharply observed and sparklingly funny, this is one of the most delightful love stories ever written.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. 

Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. 

The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control, is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

The Binding by Bridget Collins

At heart, this book is a magnificent love story, with the force field of romance and attraction, lavishly depicted. Emmett Farmer is working in the fields when a letter arrives summoning him to begin an apprenticeship. He will work for a Bookbinder, a vocation that arouses fear, superstition and prejudice – but one neither he nor his parents can afford to refuse.
He will learn to hand-craft beautiful volumes, and within each he will capture something unique and extraordinary: a memory. If there’s something you want to forget, he can help. If there’s something you need to erase, he can assist. Your past will be stored safely in a book and you will never remember your secret, however terrible.
In a vault under his mentor’s workshop, row upon row of books – and memories – are meticulously stored and recorded.
Then one day Emmett makes an astonishing discovery: one of them has his name on it.
The Binding is an unforgettable, magical novel: a boundary-defying love story and a unique literary event.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A famous legend surrounding the creation of “Anna Karenina” tells us that Tolstoy began writing a cautionary tale about adultery and ended up falling in love with his magnificent heroine. It is rare to find a fan of the book who hasn’t experienced the same kind of intense passion and emotional upheaval at some point in their life. Anna Karenina is filled with major and minor characters who exist in their own right and fully embody their mid-nineteenth-century Russian milieu, but it still belongs entirely to the woman whose name it bears, whose portrait is one of the truest ever made by a writer.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

How far can love endure? Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other. When these distant memories begin to turn into reality, the passion is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Lale Sokolov is well-dressed, a charmer, a ladies’ man. He is also a Jew. On the first transport from Slovakia to Auschwitz in 1942, Lale immediately stands out to his fellow prisoners. In the camp, he is looked up to, looked out for, and put to work in the privileged position of Tätowierer – the tattooist – to mark his fellow prisoners, forever. One of them is a young woman, Gita, who steals his heart at first glance. 
His life given new purpose, Lale does his best through the struggle and suffering to use his position for good.

COMMENTS

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *