"The course of true love never did run smooth"
- A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare
Valentine's Day (14 February) is traditionally a day to celebrate love and all the declarations that go along with it. To continue spreading the love we have dived headfirst into a romance of our own by reminiscing about some familiar literary lovebirds, featuring on the Kumon Recommended Reading List.
Callum and Sephy from Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
"Why love if losing hurts so much? We love to know that we are not alone."
Sephy is a Cross (meaning she has dark skin and is a member of the ruling class) and Callum is a Nought (meaning he has light skin and is a member of the underclass). When the friendship they have shared since their youth turns into a bright romance, their lives come under threat. Set against a backdrop prejudice, distrust and violence, these young lovers have everything stacked against them.
Buttercup and Westley from The Princess Bride by William Goldman
"Every time you said 'Farm Boy do this' you thought I was answering 'As you wish' but that's only because you were hearing wrong. 'I love you' was what it was, but you never heard."
Shortly after their declarations of love, fate steps in to tear apart Buttercup and Westley's happy union; Westley leaves to seek his fortune, only for his ship to be attacked by a savage pirate, and Buttercup is forced into marriage to Prince Humperdinck. It looks as if all hope has gone - enter a masked man in black, a giant wrestler, and a vengeful Spaniard.
Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
"Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed like a flower and the incarnation was complete."
Gatsby's and Daisy's is a story of lost love. Gatsby is too poor and lowly for the wealthy Daisy, and despite the strength of their feelings the relationship crumbles. As the novels progresses we learn how this love affair came to define Gatsby's entire life and how it laid the foundations for the man he was to become.
Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
"I have for the first time found what I can truly love - I have found you."
Jane is the young governess at Thornfield Hall and Mr. Edward Rochester the wealthy master of the house. Throughout the plot, the two central characters struggle between passion and conscience: should they give into temptation, or should they listen to logic and reason? Finally when the pair seem to be heading towards their happy ending, a secret from Mr. Rochester's past threatens everything.
The romance genre is full of drama and suspense, and often an optimistic ending, so why not re-ignite your love of reading by indulging in a beautiful love story this week?