Love is in the air, and Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. This Valentine’s season, why not round up some of the most epic literary love stories? Maybe crack open that copy of The Thorn and the Blossom? Valentine’s Day should encourage us not only to appreciate that significant other, but to appreciate all the great loves we’ve been blessed with.
Here’s a compilation of some fantastic love stories for this Valentine’s Day.
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger - Love spans an entire lifetime in this chronologically untraditional novel. It's one thing to find that special person out in the world, and a whole different thing to discover that person flits involuntarily through time.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - The title says it all: when it comes to love, pride and prejudice are poison. Pride and Prejudice details the story of two head-strong individuals who, despite all of this, find each other. There's also the zombies version.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - Beautifully devastating, The Fault in Our Stars is sure to remind you of why every life is important, and that some are taken much too soon. Be thankful for all that you have right here and now, because “the world is not a wish-granting factory."
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Gatsby, Daisy, the roaring twenties. Need I say more?
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - Although this isn’t an obvious pick for epic love stories, it definitely should be. Harry Potter is riddled with love; it’s on virtually every single page. Romantic love, platonic love, parental love, friendship love… it’s all there. When the epicentre of the series is a fight between love and hate, it seems obvious to me that these novels should be considered epic love stories.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - If anyone’s able to finish reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower without feeling overwhelming love for Charlie, I don’t think I have anything to say to that person. Charlie, despite a traumatizing past, radiates all kinds of love (for Sam, Patrick, Mary-Elizabeth, his parents, his siblings, his English teacher, etc.). Every imaginable kind of love is explored in this novel.
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult - I am truly awed by the intricacy and uniqueness of this love triangle between Anna, Kate, and their mother. There is nothing that is black-and-white; everything is lurking in the grey area of uncertainty. I think it’s so important to explore love triangles for all they have to offer, outside of the traditional boy-boy-girl or girl-girl-boy character dynamic.
Romeo & Juliet by William Shakespeare - Star-crossed lovers, this obviously had to be on the list of epic love stories you should consider reading this month. Forbidden love is beautiful, messy, all-encompassing, and often a train-wreck. Even hundreds of years after it was first written, the message of this story is as relevant as ever.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke - Although there is romance in this novel, the focal love story is between a father, mother, and daughter, and the pursuit of this love once it’s lost. The search for the truth about Meggie’s mother encourages all kinds of relationships along the way. Particularly with Dustfinger, a very interesting relationship unfolds. Is blood metaphorically thicker than water?
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - The ever brilliant Murakami tells the story of a young man's first love. Toru, a college student in Tokyo, is in love with Naoko, but their relationship is strained by the death of a mutual best friend. This coming-of-age novel portrays the importance of finding love and, more importantly, yourself.