Romance and romantic novels are the favourite of everybody. They make you laugh, cry, heavy, giddy with joy and hope. You have regency romance novels, historical romance novels, European romance, western romance, dark romance, romantic suspense.
Here we list out the top 10 all time favourite romantic novels.
The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
This is sure emotional roller coaster ride for all die hard romantics. This debut novel by American author Audrey Niffenegger will leave you teary eyed.
The story follows the lives of Henry and Claire in dual perspective. There are two intertwined stories of love and dedication from the perspective of the protagonist.
The story revolves around the bond of two people who are so fiercely loyal and strongly emotionally bonded. But here is a catch; Claire is a simple girl while Henry is a time traveller.
Clare first met Henry when she was 6 and he was 38, while Henry first met Clare when he was 28 and she was 21. With their story we explore how they make their relationship work together.
The novel chronicles the emotional and social hardships the two have to face, due to the uniqueness of their relation.
Love Story by Erich Segal
One of the few novels that stood the test of time, Love Story by Erich Segal even after 44 years and more than 21 million copies sold in English and translated in many languages will make you cry your eyes out and fill your heart with joy.
The story revolves around two characters that define the disparity of income groups and also makes a statement that "Opposites attrac" and "Love Conquers All". One of the best lines of the novel have to be - "Love means never having to say you're sorry".
Oliver Barrett is the heir to the fortunes of Barrett’s. He is one of the brightest Harvard students. Jenny Cavilleri is the smart and lively daughter of a Rhode Island baker and is music student with ambition to study in Paris.
Oliver braves the resentment of his father to their union and severs all ties with his family. Jenny gives up her ambition to get married right after they graduate. Things do not fall in place right away as Jenny has to manage Oliver’s law school and home expenses on her teacher salary.
Things fall into place as Oliver lands a good job in NYC and they both move there. Fate turns cruel when Jenny finds out that she cannot have a child and has few days to live due to Leukaemia.
The story is nothing extravagant but deals with the emotions and gloominess and the melancholy that haunts a young couple that has been hit with the imminent death of the female protagonist.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Written by the most widely read female author of all times. This novel written in 1813 gives hint of what is called today “Feminism”, through the character of Elizabeth.
The story mostly revolves around Elizabeth Bennet of the Bennet family which lives in Merton and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, the richest man in Derbyshire.
The novel has an underlying tone of humor which is the highlight of the novel, shown through the interactions between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.
Mr. Darcy is a character of aristocracy with a huge fortune and a lot of pride. Elizabeth is feisty, mischievous, head strong. She also has a sense of strong reasoning and self reflection. She is also prejudiced. Mr. Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth Bennet’s prejudice are like a fine puzzle.
The plot of the novel talks about the social situations of the century in which the novel is set in. Jane Austen ridicules the situations and the people in her own style. If you like unusual romanticism, then this novel is a must read.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre is a novel for every independent woman who yearns to be loved and seeks a forever kind of relationship. Charlotte Bronte finely exhibits the struggle between – 1) Love and Independence, 2) Conscience and Passion, 3) Struggle to maintain Self Esteem, and 4) Social Criticism.
Not a love story in the true sense, but it gives a very realistic picture of how much strength a woman should have when living life on her own terms.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Published in 1847, this novel again is not a romance novel per say. It has elements of love gone rogue, revenge, jealousy, repentance against a supernatural backdrop.
The story revolves around Heathcliff and Catherine whose sweet love story takes a turn for the worse when Heathcliff's jealousy and obsession turns his love into a mad rage of revenge and repentance when the "ghost" of Catherine begins to torment Heathcliff for all the wrong he has done.
If you like to read doomed love stories, then this is a must read.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
If "Love Transcends Everything" is the love story you are interested in, then this novel is a must read.
The novel is set against the backdrop of the imminent horror of a disease like Cancer playing havoc in the lives of Hazel and Augustus.
The story starts off with Hazel, a 17 year old teenager afflicted with cancer. She seems to respond to the new medication. She attends a cancer support group which she loathes as she believes gives false hope. Here she meets Augustus, a cancer survivor who is helping his other cancer stricken friend Isaac overcome his smashed hopes.
Augustus and Hazel are drawn to each other, and are able to understand their situation. Being an avid reader, Hazel identifies herself with the heroine of a novel called “An Imperial Affliction” named Anna. Seeing how much Hazel is determined to find the end of the novel, because it abruptly ends; Augustus tracks down the author and through a foundation that grants wishes for terminally sick children, flies with Hazel and her mother to meet the author.
On their small trip, Augustus and Hazel consummate their relationship. Augustus tells Hazel that his cancer has rebounded. Augustus starts his chemo sessions with Hazel by his side the whole time. Augustus passes shortly and Hazel is shocked to find the author of her favourite book who mistreated them at the funeral of Augustus.
From their interactions, Hazel understands the pain of the author and also finds that Augustus had written a eulogy of their relationship to the author.
This novel has elements of profanity, but they all add up to the tempo of the novel. The sweet love that Augustus has for Hazel is surely to make your eyes wet and your heart heavy with joy and sorrow.
There is a conspiracy theory which suggests that this novel is the life story of Esther Earl, a teenager who died of cancer and that the author in the novel is John Green himself.
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
One of the best selling Southern classics (Westerns are different), Margaret Mitchell’s novel is set in the times of Civil War and Reconstruction Era. The story’s main character is Scarlett O’Hara who is born rich but falls into poverty.
Scarlett O’Hara is a headstrong woman who knows her way and what she desires. She has an indomitable spirit and her weapon of survival is her undying hope that "tomorrow is much better". But her hope is also the cause of her sorrow as she years for the love she never had.
Scarlett O'Hara is the symbol of what womanhood is about – Love, Sacrifice, and Hope. A must read for all women and men.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
There is a saying that goes – make peace with your past and let it go...for it will play havoc in your present and ruin your future.
But, Jay Gatsby thinks otherwise. Jay Gatsby is the symbol of American dream – a lavish lifestyle, fake friends, a fortune carved out of illegal activities and a penchant to win back lost love.
The novel is a second person rendition through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Caraway. Nick is able to unravel the discontent in Gatsby’s life – his lady love Daisy who although loves Gatsby is married to a certain Tom Buchanan.
Jay and Daisy rekindle their lost love and drive to New York. Here Daisy accidently kills a woman and Gatsby takes up the blame. Gatsby is killed by George Wilson whose wife was killed by Daisy.
This novel is the mirror of decadence of the American dream and the lost love.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Love is mysterious is the theme of this novel. First started as a series of episodes, the novel takes a look at how circumstances change people into who they are not and how random acts of kindness or misery change people back into who they really are – filled with love and compassion.
The story revolves around Philip Pirrip also known as Pip, is an orphan and lives with his sister and her husband, who is a blacksmith. Pip also aspires to be a blacksmith.
Pip meets Miss Havisham, and old lady scorned at the altar of her wedding. Pip develops a certain liking to Estella who is Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter. Estella is an ice maiden and is cruel hearted.
By quirk of faith, Pip inherits a large fortune from a criminal called Abel Magwitch aka Provis who happens to be Estella's father.
After 11 years of overseas travels, Pip comes back only to find Estella miserable. He finds Estella to be a reformed woman who accepts Pip’s affections and love for her.
A must novel for people who still believe in happily ever after endings.
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks’s novels are tearjerkers. They make you cry with every word! This romance novel is no different than rest of his novels. What makes this novel special is that it is inspired from the authors’ sister who died in 2000 after a failed battle with cancer. She died age 33.
The protagonist of the novel is a smart and young woman of 17 years, Jamie Sullivan who is quiet and suffers from cancer. She also carries the Bible with her studies.
The other character is Landon Carter who narrates the story as a 57 year old man about his first and last love Jamie Sullivan when they were 17 years of age.
The story is about how Landon and Jamie, two opposites begin a beautiful friendship and how in the process of fulfilling his best friends every wish, falls in love with her.
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