I am back with the Top 10′s. The first one was on My Top 10 Villains in Fiction and now I present to you My Top 10 Love Stories – oh yes the ones that make you laugh and cry at the same time – the ones that leave that warm longing feeling in your heart and the ones that make you wish that the characters hadn’t fallen in love at all. So shall we let the love stories in motion?
1. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami – At the top of my list, only after 2001 when I first read it and gave it my all. Since then I have read this book 17 times and no I am not kidding. I almost know all the quotes and scenes. Sumire and her story with K and Miu took my breath away. Read it and know for yourself.
2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Yes Yes Yes we are all aware of Katharine and Heathcliff already – give us a break, you might say, but how can you forget their love amidst the moors of England, the dark brooding weather and love gained and lost and regained in death. Bronte was right in writing only this one. She couldn’t have survived the popularity.
3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Viewed by many as an illicit love affair between Anna and Vronsky and yet remains to be one of the most beautiful unrequited love stories of all time. If only Tolstoy hadn’t killed Anna under the wheels of a train.
4. Love Story by Erich Segal – “Love means never having to say you are sorry”. Sigh. How many of us have cried while reading this one? I have. Over and over again. Erich Segal knew what he was doing, the magic that was being created.
5. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje – Haunting and beautiful, Ondaatje’s award-winning novel tells the story of four war-damaged souls living in an Italian monastery at the end of WWII, and the love story between two of them, the exhausted nurse Hana, and the severely burned unnamed English patient. Unforgettably unique.
6. Possession: A Romance by A.S. Byatt – Possession restores sex to the Victorians and romance to the 20th century — and shows that while the language of love might change, love remains the same.
7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – Though some may not agree to this being a romantic book, I would say to them that you do not know any better. I mean how can we forget the sheer and unfailing chemistry between Fred and Holly – the visit to Tiffany’s, the stealing of masks, the cat who has no name and “an attack of the mean reds” which can only be assuaged by jumping in a cab and going to Tiffany’s. Mr. Capote, why don’t they write like you anymore?
8. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene – War Struck Europe and two people meet. Their fates are sealed. Cut to 1946 and Maurice is all set to find out why Sarah ended their relationship so abruptly – what could have been the reason? One of Graham Greene’s best works.
9. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – Who can forget Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara pelting their love out in a horse carriage? Or for that matter the hopeful end of the book, when Scarlett knows that tomorrow is another day to win back her love? A classic read.
10. By Grand Central Station, I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart – The world might have been at war, but no less cataclysmic is the individual anguish of the broken-hearted, so claims Elizabeth Smart’s prose poem. While the unnamed lovers’ romance is painfully brief, the book was based on Canadian writer Smart’s affair with the English poet George Barker, which lasted 18 years and produced four children. A howl of tortured love and the agony of betrayal, it should be avoided by emotional cynics and literary ascetics at all costs.