Fourteen years ago, I walked into a room and looked into a pair of eyes.
Something peculiar happened. An invisible tendril snaked over the grey carpet, wound its way up my leg and started all sorts of shenanigans in my stomach. A consummate professional, I shook it off and began the lesson on phrasal verbs.
Fourteen years later, we’ve been married for six, weathered various storms, celebrated glorious highs and look forward to more adventures and experiments.
That four-letter word, so often over-used, the subject of so many songs, books, films, artworks and clichés. That emotion so elusive which can poleaxe the mighty and ennoble the tiny.
Love is a perennial literary theme, especially on an epic Wuthering Heights scale. Yet the books that have affected me most don’t always fit the epic traditional mould. To celebrate my anniversary of meeting the right person, here are fourteen of my favourite novels on the subject of love.
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: lasting love
Tristan and Iseult, by JD Smith: tragic legend retold
Maurice, by EM Forster: love is not a phase
Betty Blue, by Philippe Dijan: love in extremis
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, by John Fowles: did love win?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera: the agony of love
Cyrano de Bergerac, by Edmond Rostand (Anthony Burgess translation): eloquence, wit, disguise and honour
The Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro: love reduced to its essence
My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante: the powerful bonds of friendship
Ghost Town, by Catriona Troth: nothing is ever black or white
The Gargoyle, by Andrew Davidson: Love is strong as Death, as hard as Hell
What love stories have I missed? What are your favourites and why?