Top 10: Love stories we can’t forget

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we at BookPage were asked by the folks at Springpad to share a Top 10 love story list. We put our heads together and came up with the following. Do you agree? disagree? have a favorite literary couple of your own? Tell us in the comments before 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, and be entered for a chance to win a box of 6 romance novels, including the latest from Christine Feehan and Stephanie Laurens!

  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    A total classic enlivened by a strong heroine who knows what she wants–and what she deserves.
  • Possession by A.S. Byatt
    The twinned stories of modern-day scholars and 19th-century poets make for a romantic, suspenseful tale.
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman
    Full of romance, humor and adventure, this is a love story for all ages.
  • The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough
    Forbidden love with a sexy priest, set against the backdrop of the wild Australian frontier—what’s not to like?
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
    The romance between headstrong Scarlett and the debonair Rhett is as turbulent as the times they live in.
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia-Marquez
    Youthful romance is eventually rewarded in Garcia-Marquez’s contemporary classic.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
    Pip’s obsession with Estella is epic and heartbreaking. You root for him and them throughout the entire novel.
  • About Alice by Calvin Trillin
    Trillin proves true love is real by creating this stirring tribute to his life with his wife of nearly 40 years, written five years after her death from cancer.
  • The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen Woodiwiss
    This 1972 novel kicked off the romance genre as we know it today.
  • Romeo & Juliet by Shakespeare
    No work of fiction has better captured the feeling of first love.

17 Responses to Top 10: Love stories we can’t forget

  1. Tanya says:

    All of the selections are wonderful. I need to catch up on reading some of these love stories.

  2. Melissa Mc says:

    Oh, how I loved The Thorn Birds!! Makes me want to re-read it! But how can a list like this not include, Pride and Prejudice???
    I’ve never read The Flame and the Flower — I’m very tempted!

  3. Lady T says:

    I agree with Melissa- Pride and Prejudice is an all time romantic read altho Persuasion has the best love letter ever written-“You pierce my soul…I am half agony,half hope…”(enough to give a girl the vapors just thinking about it!)

  4. Terri M says:

    Mr. Rochester to Jane: “it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame…”

  5. I think we could expand the list to the top 100 love stories, especially if we thought of film as well as books. I would add to the list of books, Love Story. And to movies “Ghost” with Patrick Swayze.

  6. Heather Dreith says:

    I’d have to vote for “Pride and Prejudice” and also “The Scarlet Pimpernel.” Sir Percy’s wife thought her husband was an uncaring fop. If only she could have seen him kissing each spot where her foot trod when they returned from a ball!

  7. Sharon says:

    I completely agree with most choices but think Love Story is missing. This was THE novel when I was a young girl. I loved The Thorn Birds, Jane Eyre, and Love In The Time of Cholera. Not so sure The Princess Bride belongs and I haven’t read The Flame and the Flower.

  8. Toni says:

    SO glad to see that you included Gone With the Wind. It came to mind immediately. Still Alice is also wonderful in a completely different way. I can’t argue against any of your choices, alhtough I haven’t read The Princess Bride or The Flame and the Flower. Perhaps I should?

  9. Alysia says:

    I agree except you have to include Pride & Prejudice, and I think Mr. Dickens has been rolling around in his grave since you called his novel a “Love Story.”

  10. anne says:

    What a lovely selection. I definitely would include Jamie and Claire in The Outlander Saga.

  11. Lori says:

    I love Kathleen Woodiwiss. My first large novel was a copy of Shanna that came in a bag of yard sale goodies when I was 17. Her best, though is A Rose in Winter. It has hints of Beauty & the Beast, a slimy villain, and a fun cast of characters.

  12. Carol says:

    The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I hope it never ends!!

  13. Rosemary says:

    Love _Jane Eyre_ and _Possession_…I’d also put in a vote for Dorothy Sayers’ _Gaudy Night_, which is more love story than detective novel, ultimately! The passage where Harriet realizes she loves Wimsey while they’re out punting…*swoon*.

  14. Thanks for the list. There are a couple that I hadn’t heard about. One of my favorits is Rainbow’s End by Irene Hannon. It probably is not in the same class as your list but I like it very much.

  15. Julia says:

    I agree with Heather’s comment above … The Scarlet Pimpernel deserves a spot on the list. It’s a first-class love story full of adventure. Yum! Just thinking about it makes me want to read it again!

  16. Brenda Rupp says:

    The Notebook should have been included. I don’t agree about Love in the Time of Cholera, that book was a terrible drag for me to get through, perhaps it was me. Some times I can’t finish a book at another time I can pick it up and get through it on the fly. Anyway, that is what I thought should be included in the list!

  17. Gayle says:

    Definitely Pride & Prejudice! One of my favorite books of all time, and the most romantic love story ever!

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