None other than Daphne Du Maurier could have put it so plainly and beautifully, ‘I am glad it cannot happen twice, the fever of first love. For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.’
What is love and how it comes to exist I cannot explain, however, I can tell you this much that it is like an unforgettable journey that comes with surprising speed-breakers, dizzy dances, fantastic turns, clever mountains, silent waves and clamorous happiness. One moment you could be swimming and the next you could drown never to float again in that vast ocean of Love. But my words can never surpass those of the masters in this field. These are ten books that can be enjoyed by both the love-struck and the literature lovers. So don’t make a fuss about not being able to go out this winter. Sit tightly wrapped in a blanket, place a cup of coffee within arm’s reach and grab any one of the following books this winter:-
10. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
“Men are simpler than you imagine my sweet child.” Are they really? Allow yourself to follow Daphne Du Maurier’s trail in her book, Rebecca. It is a gripping story that will not leave you disappointed. A novel that embraces mystery almost as if Maurier is trying to tell us that love thrives in mystery. The story is told through the eyes of a young woman recently married to Maxim. She tries to make herself comfortable in his house, but she finds his dead wife’s form still breathing there to the extent that she feels that he still loves his dead wife. Maurier only speaks of Rebecca, the dead wife to indicate that probably this young woman has no place in Manderley, Max’s and Rebecca’s house.
9. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
“She knew that he loved her above all else, more than anything in the world, but only for his own sake.” Gabriel García Márquez never fails to enchant his readers but Love in the Time of Cholera will get you thinking in a way you have never thought before, and feel in a way you have never felt before. He implicitly questions our concept of love. He leaves seeds of thought inside our heads which germinate to grow into frenzied questions of reality. We begin to think and conclude that perhaps love isn’t as beautiful as we perceive it to be. Or in fact it is ugly almost like a disease. Or it is just a strange emotion that could indeed last forever.
8. Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
“She had borne so long this cruelty of belonging to him and not being claimed by him,” and yet she cannot do anything to make him consummate his love for her. Is it Oedipus complex that he faces or is it just his mind trapped in the abyss of human dilemma, the latter being a result of the former? Read Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence that analyses the impact of a mother’s affection on her son’s love life.
7. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
“You’re so brutal to those who love you, Scarlett.” Margaret Mitchell’s novel not only paints a most realistic picture of the horrors of the civil war but also creates a story of two fierce lovers, Scarlett O’ Hara and Rhett Butler. As you sow, so shall you reap a proverb apt for this book?
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you.” Charlotte Bronte brings to you Jane Eyre, a book carved in the most exquisite fashion. The story reflects love, so strong and yet so fragile an emotion in its true form. The truth is that sometimes in love we do things others can’t comprehend but we have our reasons. After having studied in an all girls’ boarding school, the protagonist, Jane goes on to teach at a gentleman’s house with whom she ultimately falls in love with. But that’s not the end of it. Love is never easy to grow, and the flowers carry the thorns.
5. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
“I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you.’’ Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov draws parallels between obsession and love. Well, I think it is safe to say that there’s a thin line between the two. Who should be bestowed the power to write down the rules of love? Are there certain rules or are they merely created by the society in which we live? Who are we to tell wrong from right?
4. Of Love and other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
“I have always believed He (the Holy Spirit) attributes more importance to love than to faith.” They say that we are blinded by love, but Márquez in his book Of Love and Other Demons puts it differently. He says instead, that love allows us to look more clearly. It is love that makes all the trivial problems diaphanous, allowing us to look beyond them.
3. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
“I want to know what passion is. I want to feel something strongly.” As the title suggests the author has created (prophesied) a new world wherein “everybody belongs to everybody else.” Brave New World, a book by Aldous Huxley has completely effaced the concept of love. Would you like to live in a world without it? Read this coruscating novel and decide for yourself.
2. Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
“After all this, I won’t start to hate you.” In Murakami’s book, Sputnik Sweetheart we find that not all love is requited, and sometimes it can’t be. Haruki Murakami’s talent for creating beauty out of simplicity is remarkable. His simple statements can evoke the deepest of human emotions. Unrequited love could be rough, and the things it could do are many. It could turn one into an artist but it could also destroy a human being completely. Such is the power of love.
1. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCollough
“There are no ambitions noble enough to justify breaking someone’s heart,’’ and there is no substitute for The Thorn Birds. It is both a delectable and memorable read. Read the intoxicating story written by Colleen McCullough. This heart rending novel will both simplify and complicate your understanding of love.
Let the waves of these classics wash you and allow yourself to be drenched under the cataract of love in a time wherein love is infused with lust and obsession. Don’t turn it into something irresistible, rather let it be irreplaceable.