In Erica Jong's seminal novel Fear of Flying, Isadora, a writer, is growing increasingly unhappy in her marriage. As she considers whether to pursue her feelings for another man, she confronts her past failed romances, as well as her expectations for romantic love overall.
Although the novel is ultimately really about Isadora coming to terms with herself, it also celebrates the truly transformative power of love.
Loving always comes with the threat of pain, but that doesn't mean it's not worth it. Although Thackeray's Regency-set Vanity Fair is a satire about class, this message about loving despite the risk is powerful at face-value, and in the context of the novel.
"I have not known a moment in years when the sight of you did not send my heart careening against my rib cage. I have not known a night when your visage did not accompany me to sleep. There has not been a morning when you did not flutter behind my waking eyelids….Is any of this getting through to you, Buttercup, or do you want me to go on for a while?" — The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
The Princess Bride is one of the most comforting books out there. And with its mixture of escapist fantasy, humor, and romance, it's a perfect read for the current moment. In this quote, the handsome farm boy Westley responds to a confession of love from Buttercup.
If you need a romance-filled pick-me-up right now, William Goldman's The Perfect Bride is a happy-ever-after story for the ages.
From furtive flirting to romantic looks exchanged across a room, Jane Austen characters are experts at longing from afar. The clever Austen classic Sense and Sensibility follows sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood through the highs and lows of courtship in eighteenth-century England.
If you're separated from your loved one during isolation, it's easy to worry that you are growing apart. This quote is a reminder that an intimate connection can't be severed just by time and distance.
"Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself." —Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
This beautiful quote from the late, great Gabriel García Márquez is a reminder that love can be a spiritual practice of sitting with the present moment, rather than constantly striving for more. This quote from Márquez celebrates the joy that can be found in loving, even when that love can't be immediately acted on.
Márquez's Love in the Time of Cholera follows the lifelong off-and-on love affair between childhood sweethearts Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. In the novel, their love offers solace and comfort in uncertain times.