Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top 10 Literary Love Stories

Of course I must put this disclaimer: my own love story is my favorite, full stop. And no literary "hero" measures up to my own Prince Charming. He's all that they are and better, because he's real. And he's mine. But our story hasn't been written up into book form...yet. Maybe some day. So which love stories in books made me swoon?

1. Fitzwilliam Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet. Pride and Prejudice. You already knew this would be on my list, didn't you? Not only is this amazingly well written, it is the story upon which so many other love stories and (dare I say it) romance novels are based. Except this isn't a romance novel and it isn't "chick lit". It's the real deal and it isn't just for womenfolk.

2. Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth. Persuasion. Pride and Prejudice is my sentimental favorite but the book that comes closest to challenging that is Persuasion. A deep, grown up, faithful love is portrayed in this story. And, let's be honest, that letter {swoon}. If you've read the book you know what I'm talking about and if you haven't, then what are you waiting for - read the book!

3. Percy Blakeney & Marguerite Blakeney. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Not to give anything away, but I think this book has one of the most romantic endings of any book.

4. Margaret Hale & John Thornton. North and South. OK, first of all: this is not about the U.S. Civil War. It's set in England. Second of all, it owes a lot to Pride and Prejudice as far as plot. And, being that it's Elizabeth Gaskell, don't get attached to all of the characters because they are doomed, doomed I say! But the love story is swoon worthy despite all the sadness.

5. Juliet Ashton & ? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I can't tell you who, lest I give away the story. This is one of my most favorite recent novels. I have two copies (one paperback, one hardback). I actually bought one copy to give away and then decided I needed to keep it. You know, just in case something happens to my first copy. {love}

6. Anne Shirley & Gilbert Blythe. Anne of Green Gables. Not so much in the first book, or even the second. But crack open Anne of the Island or Anne's House of Dreams and soak it in. So much better than the miniseries!

7. Laura Ingalls & Almanzo Wilder. Little Town on the Prairie & These Happy Golden Years. A real life love story. Trivia point: the word "love" is never mentioned between Laura and Almanzo in the book (whether it was in real life, I couldn't tell you). But it is there just the same. More proof that books need not "spell it out" for a story to be romantic.

8. Lucy Honeychurch & George Emerson. A Room With a View. Passionate but readable and tied up with the movie in my mind in an inextricable way.

9. Elisa Lindheim & John Murphy. Vienna Prelude & Prague Counterpoint. Christian fiction that wasn't just romances out west long ago - these books were a revelation to me when I was a teenager. WW2. Based on actual people and events. Realistic. The story between Elisa & Murphy is not the main point of the novels but their plot line drives these two books.

10. John & Bella. Our Mutual Friend. One of my favorite couples from Dickens. Not sure I enjoyed all John's "testing" of Bella's loyalty but still, one of the few good romances in Dickens.

Honorary Mention: Tristran & Yvaine in Stardust. I can't recommend the book as unreservedly as the others in this list (and it's been awhile since I read it so I'm not sure how many caveats I'd have to list), but the love story is great. She's a star (twinkling, not Hollywood) who gives it up...but you'll have to read the story, I guess.

Common threads in all of these stories: sweet, leaving much to the imagination, misunderstandings galore, but love wins out in the end. That's the way it ought to be, I think.

This post is linked to Top 10 Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. Any action taken with these links could result in compensation for me. As always, I encourage you to check your library or Paperback Swap first - these books are worth it! Opinions are my own and you must read at your own discretion.


TwoBibliomaniacs said...

Anne Eliot and Captain Wentworth are great choices. Also, I loved reading about Anne and Gilbert!

1girl2manybooks said...

Those 2 are my favourite Anne books as well!

Lisa said...

Great list! Pride and Prejudice, and scarlet pimpernel are on the top of my list as well. I haven't read a couple on the list, but I'll be sure to check them out. You know I can't pass up a good love story!

vinay said...

These are really very great Love Stories. I really appreciated your site and the variety and style of love stories.

Lisa said...

Okay, I just finish The Guernsey Literay and Potato Peel Pie Society. How did I miss this book? So good! It's definately made it's way into my favorites as well.

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