Reading Between the Lines with Eva: My top 5 romance reads

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By: EVA MONHAUT

Staff Columnist

emonhaut@iu.edu

It is February and cupid is still bustling about shooting arrows but fear not: you don’t have to look further than your bookshelf for a little love. I do not usually read books that are specifically written in the romance genre.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some well written and irresistible reads that are designated as romance books but the vast majority, I feel, fall flat of meaningful read. On this list, however, are five books that are not cut in stone romance genre reads but are still filled with a wonderful love story as well as a thick plot base.

Gone with the Wind by Margret Mitchell

I feel like this one is an obvious one but I still have to put it on the list. I recently read Gone With the Wind for the first time, devouring it in under two weeks. Of course, this book is a classic for reasons other than the romance aspect of it.

The story takes place during the Civil War and Reconstruction era, spanning time as eloquently as it strings together human relationships. It follows a young, Scarlett O’Hara as she comes of age in the middle of the war and is forced to mature in the face of poverty and loss. I don’t think I have to say much more since most people are familiar with it at least from the film but for the record, I am on team Rhett Butler.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This romance filled read plays with time travel as it follows the relationship of Clare and Henry, a married couple with a twist. Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six when they met but they married when Clare was in her early twenties and Henry only thirty-one. Confused? Don’t be – it is only time travel! Henry has a rare condition called Chrono-Displacement Disorder which rewinds his genetic clock so he is constantly placed in time. Unfortunately, this happens unpredictably and causes a strain on his relationship with Clare.

I must confess, I have not yet read this one although it is on my list for this month. I have seen the movie, which I highly recommend and this is revered as one of the best romance reads ever so give it a try and travel through time with Henry.

Message in a Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

I know some of you may be thinking, why this book out of all of Nicholas Sparks books. Hear me out! I have not read them all, not even The Notebook yet, and out of the ones I have read this one seemed to be the most realistic, genuine, and natural of romance reads.

I like that it also explores heartbreak and loss in a way most of the others I feel do not highlight as in-depth. Plus, I think it is important that it follows an older couple – not all love features two younger love birds making out on a Friday night.

It follows divorcee, Theresa Osborne who is also a mother of a twelve-year-old boy as she falls in love while on a trip near the sea. She discovers a message in a bottle addressed to a woman named Catherine expressing lost love from a man named Garett who lost his wife years ago and still sends messages in bottles to her at sea. Now, Garett and Theresa’s paths begin to cross and a new bond is formed at sea.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

This is another classic which I am sure many of you are familiar with but never the less belongs on this list. In my opinion, this is another novel that everyone must read at least once. Anna is both a sophisticated and passionate woman. And for the record, I am on Count Vronsky’s team!

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

This story takes place in the 1920s in London where widow, Mrs. Wray and her daughter are taking in lodgers to help make ends meet. When Lilian and Leonard Barber arrive the lives of Mrs. Wray and Frances begin to change drastically. This story explores romance in all of its frustration, forbiddingness, and rawness as well as the consequences it can leave in its wake.

 

There you have it, five books to pick up and read this month, all with something different to offer. For more book recommendations and to see what I am currently reading follow me on Goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/6143318-eva.

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