Literary Challenge 2017 #11 Love Stories

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This time Hillingdon Libraries staff were set the challenge to read a novel including a love story… As part of our Literary Challenge 2017, they reviewed some beloved love stories. What is the most romantic time of the year? What is you favourite love story?

We read and review fiction books on a set time every month, for you.

1. On Canaan’s Side by Sebastian Barry

books0917behrensThis is not a love story as such but definitely a story of love in many different forms. 89 year old Lilly Bere is mourning the loss of her beloved grandson Bill. Born in Dublin at the beginning of the twentieth century, Lilly and her fiancé are forced to flee from Ireland and the story then follows her life in the new world of America. Lilly reflects on her love for her father, brother and sisters; her fiancé and husband; her friends and her love for Ireland, the country of her birth and America where she has lived all her adult life… This is a moving book, sad in parts but beautifully written.

5 out of 5 stars. Carol – Northwood Library

2. Maurice by E. M. Forster

516LZvW2V6L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Forster, a gay man himself, wrote this in the 1910s, when the odds were stacked against two men finding a happy ending together. Maurice is often criticised for being unrealistic in its depiction of the romantic relationship between its middle-class titular character and the gamekeeper Alec Scudder. But of course, it’s the seeming impossibility of this love lasting across a class divide which makes it so romantic in the first place, and Forster was determined to give his gay characters happiness as he wanted to show it was possible – and in fact, that love between two men possessed the same nobility and fire as love between a man and a woman. Since it’s Forster, the writing is elegant, insightful and humane. The novel finally saw publication after his death, when the controversy couldn’t touch Forster personally, and when society was near the beginning of its gradual shift towards acceptance.

5 out of 5 stars. Darren – Uxbridge Library

Have you read any of these books? Do you enjoy love stories? You can borrow all these books from our catalogue. Thanks for reading!

 

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