10 of our favorite (not-so-tragic) love stories
Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and you know what that means—
—time to reflect, appreciate, and pine after all the romances that were, are, and could be. At Chevalier’s we know there’s no better way to indulge your feelings (and get them trampled on) than a great book.
Check out these ten great romances to make and break your heart.
1. Less by Andrew Sean Greer
The irony of Less, is that it is so much MORE! It’s a midlife crisis, it’s a journey around the world, and yes, it’s a love story. As Arthur Less is about to turn 50, his long-time hook-up announces his engagement to someone else. To avoid the wedding, Less does something out of character: he says yes to every social engagement, no matter how ghastly. The rare book that’s fun, literary, uplifting… but most of all, Arthur Less’s awkward charm will steal your heart.
2. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabríel García Marquez
In my VERY humble opinion no author is able to pen poetic pining quite like Marquez. Our star-crossed lovers are torn apart—as many youthful passions are—by arranged marriages and differences in class. But our hero Florentino is a die-hard romantic and we watch as he waits fifty years, nine months, and four days to profess his love once again.
3. The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
This is the only period piece I like... Set in vague old timey France(??), a cross-dressing prince and peasant dressmaker fall in love through the magic of fashion and FRIENDSHIP. There’s lots of beaaaautiful dresses and drama.
4. Room with a View by E.M. Forster
Lucy Honeychurch really exemplifies the phrase, ‘the lady doth protest too much.’ Though, to be fair to Lucy, she keeps her feelings for George Eastman a secret from herself too. Gorgeous descriptions of Rome and the Italian countryside make this book a perfect V-day read.
5. On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
This is an epic romance if I’ve ever seen one. Walden creates a rich futuristic world in which two stories unfold in parallel: the first time Mia and Grace meet and fall in love in school and—years later— Mia’s journey through space, into the underground of a dangerous planet, and back to the one person she could never forget!! (SPOILER: IT’S GRACE.)
6. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Despite its lightness of spirit, Americanah is heavy with important themes. Ifemelu and Obinze attend school together in Nigeria, but are flung far from home and each other in search of greater opportunities. Will they ever be reunited? And if they are, will they still have anything in common? Very satisfying.
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is known for its iconic character Heathcliff who's moodier than a stormy day. The love story in Wuthering Heights is great because it’s dark, twisted, and you really, really should not be rooting for Heathcliffe’s redemption but you end up doing so anyway. Has all the guilty pleasures of reading Twilight but is exquisitely well-written and painfully self-aware.
8. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Everybody knows that food can be super sexy, especially in the right hands. And, oh does Laura Esquivel know how to write about food! Layers of love stories, family lore, magical happenings, and mouth-watering descriptions of meals that lead to the bedroom…
9. Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik
Notorious RBG showcases a lot of things to admire Justice Ginsburg for but among my favorites is her relationship with her husband Marty, “the only boy who cared she had a brain.” What starts out as a blind date turns into the romance and friendship of a lifetime. Ginsburg herself says without Marty she “would not have gained a seat on the Supreme Court.”
10. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
One of Murakami’s lesser known works and my personal favorite. Sputnik Sweetheart is essentially a love triangle between K, aspiring writer Sumire, and Miu, a career woman seventeen years Sumire’s senior and Sumire’s much-belated first love. In this short but very fulfilling novel, the feelings are simple and the situation bizarre.