By Hannah White
Love is a central theme of so many great works of literature. And with February on the horizon, many look for great films and books to enjoy either alone or with a significant other. From classic marriage plots to more tragic tales, the following is a list of 6 great love stories to read this Valentine’s season.
Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman
Adapted into the critically acclaimed film of the same name in 2017, Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name is a classic story about unexpected summer love. This New York Times Bestseller tells “the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents’ cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera.” This heart wrenching story is the perfect read for those looking for a beautiful tale this Valentine’s Day.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
While this might not be a traditional romantic love story, Morrison’s Beloved is nonetheless a heartbreaking story about maternal love. The story’s protagonist “Sethe […] was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved.” One of Morrison’s most celebrated works serves as a reminder of the great lengths people will go to for love.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
One of the most classic English tales of all time, Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights follows the intense love between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The profound tale goes as follows: “Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.”
Emma by Jane Austen
My love for this Jane Austen classic was recently revived after watching the new major motion picture adaptation starring Anya Taylor-Joy. The intelligent, rich, and beautiful Emma is content with her single life, yet she loves playing matchmaker. But after unsuccessfully arranging a suitable marriage for her close friend Harriet Smith, Emma proves she is not always right. Emma is charming and realistic in its portrayal of its characters and considered to be one of Austen’s best novels. Both the book and the film are perfect for reading and viewing this Valentine’s Day.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Helen Graham, a beautiful but reclusive woman, moves into the previously abandoned Wildfell Hall with her young son. Neighbor Gilbert Markham becomes intrigued by Helen and offers his friendship, but the mysterious Helen quickly becomes the subject of town gossip and Gilbert begins to question the grounds of his affections. This bold novel immediately caused a scandal upon publication for its taboo portrayal of marriage, and remains a powerful story to this day.
If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
“Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad.” In this tragic story which has been adapted into an extremely successful major motion picture, Tish and Fonny plan to marry but those plans are ruined when Fonny is falsely accused of a crime and imprisoned. Full of powerful emotions and fully realized, captivating characters, this classic tale about love and injustice is relevant now more than ever.
What are you reading this February? What are some of your favorite love stories of all time? Let us know with the hashtag #readwithLT!