Nothing beats a good book; curling up with a cuppa and losing yourself in a novel is one of those simple pleasures in life that never fails to make you feel contented, and the greatest love stories have gone down in history as some of the best works of literature out there. If you’re in need of some inspiration to renew your reading list this Autumn, here are some of our favourite novels on love and romance.
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
The intense, doomed love story of Cathy and Heathcliff is one of the most iconic. It charts the relationship between the nomadic Heathcliff, who arrives at the Wuthering Heights estate as a destitute child, and his adopted “sister” Cathy. An impassioned tale of love and revenge ensues, and the main characters are emotionally thwarted by the affair. Heathcliff’s moral undoing after Cathy’s death reminds us that lost love can make a good man turn bad.
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
The novel to inspire a thousand copycat Darcys, Pride and Prejudice is typical of Austen’s quietly satirical treatment of social etiquette and class in relation to love and marriage. The main character, Elizabeth Bennet, and her eventual husband Darcy are initially not well-matched. The plot allows them to learn from one another and reveals that much of being in love is to do with self-improvement, and the pairing of two people bettering each other.
The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
Inspiring a film of the same name (which makes me cry every time and happened to be my first introduction to the lovely Mr. Gosling), the original novel was Sparks’ first published novel and is equally heart-wrenching (if not more so). Oh god, where do we begin; the passion, the romance, the hiatus of said romance, the present day illnesses and overwhelming sense that love conquers all (screw you Alzheimer’s, screw you cancer). They might be nearing the end, but their life-affirming love story basically outlives them, which is a lovely message to take away with you after this read. Now please bear with me while I go get a tissue.
Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
Cold Mountain tells the story of W.P Inman, a wounded deserter of the civil war who is returning home to his love, Ada Monroe. This is a tale of Odysseyian proportions, except that theirs is fated from the start – the world around them seems just too cruelly wild and war-torn for any lasting reunion. Frazier teases us with a moment of rekindled love, arm in arm movie-worthy stuff, and then its wrenched from us just as we’ve bought into the happy ending. Ada raises their child as a widow, and that’s all I’m going to say on this one.
Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
Our favourite 30-something urban singleton began life as the heroine of a weekly column Fielding wrote for The Daily Telegraph. Since its publication, the novel and its sequels (there are two to date) have spawned 3 films and Bridget has become a national treasure. Its her relationship with the not-so coincidentally named Darcey that is central to the book, and their coming together is the culmination of many hilarious misdemeanours along the way. Basically, we love Bridge.