This is my version of a Valentine’s Day-inspired bookish post. This is a list of love stories, mostly from books that I have recently read or that are old favourites of mine. The links will take you either to the Goodreads synopsis or to my own thoughts about the book if I’ve already written about it on my blog. Happy reading!
Her affection for him was now the breath and life of Tess’s being; it enveloped her as a photosphere, irradiated her into forgetfulness of her past sorrows, keeping back the gloomy spectres that would persist in their attempts to touch her-doubt, fear, moodiness, care, shame. She knew that they were waiting like wolves just outside the circumscribing light, but she had long spells of power to keep them in hungry subjection there.
I haven’t changed my mind. That’s the point! I want tot spend my life with you even though it’s totally irrational. And you have short earlobes. Socially and genetically there’s no reason for me to be attracted to you. The only logical conclusion is that I must be in love with you.
It was like love, he thought, this crumbling chapel: it has been complicated, and therefore perfected, by what time had done to it.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (at least, I felt like it was tragic)
I kissed him, trying to bring him back. I kissed him and let my lips rest against his so that our breath mingled and the tears from my eyes became salt on his skin, and I told myself that, somewhere, tiny particles of him would become tiny particles of me, ingested, swallowed, alive perpetual. I wanted to press every bit of me against him. I wanted to will something into him. I wanted to give him every bit of life I felt and force him to live.
Old-Fashioned Love: (whatever that means, but it was the best I could come up with)
Anne of the Island by L.M.Montgomery – I grew up with Anne and Gilbert, as well as many other of Montgomery’s characters.
“I wouldn’t want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I’d like it if he could be wicked and wouldn’t.”
“I’ve loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.”
“I don’t want sunbursts or marble halls, I just want you.”
Gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her. Then they walked home together in the dusk, crowned king and queen in the bridal realm of love, along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that ever bloomed, and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew.
Real Life Love:
The Dirty Life; A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Life by Kristin Kimball – I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in real love, good food, and farming, or any combination of those (so everyone, really)
A farm asks, and if you don’t give enough, the primordial forces of death and wildness will overrun you. So naturally you give, and then you give some more, and then you give to the point of breaking, and then and only then it gives back, so bountifully it overfills not only your root cellar but also that parched and weedy little patch we call the soul.
When I think of it now, I can see that our wedding day was exactly like our marriage, and like our farm, both exquisite and untidy, sublime and untamed. What I knew even then, though, in the middle of the chaos, was that the love at its center was not just the small human love between Mark and me. It was an expression of a larger loving-kindness, and, when I remember it, I have the feeling of being held in the hands of our friends, family, community, and whatever mysterious force made the fields yield abundant food. It is the feeling of falling, and of being gently caught.
Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
And if the man who once upon a time had been a boy who promised he’d never fall in love with another girl as long as he lived kept his promise, it wasn’t because he was stubborn or even loyal. He couldn’t help it.
I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.
My favourite classic love story:
Do you think I am an automaton? – a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! – I have as much soul as you – and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you.
No-I have touched you, heard you, felt the comfort of your presence-the sweetness of your consolation: I cannot give up these joys. I have little left in myself-I must have you. The world may laugh-may call me absurd, selfish-but it does not signify. My very soul demands you: it will be satisfied: or it will take deadly vengeance on its frame.
Have you read any good love stories lately? Or have any old favourites?