Tag Archives: romance novels

Romance


“You pierce my soul. I’m half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I’m too late. […] For you alone I think and plan.”

–Captain Wentworth, in the best-loved love-letter of all time in Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’.

 

Do you ever feel that you’re an anachronism? That you’d rather have been born in a time and place where romance was simpler and yet more complex than now? I get that whenever I watch or read period romances. Like I’ve been doing for the past few days. I started with ‘The Lizzie Bennet Diaries’, moved on to ‘Lost in Austen‘, then watched all the four episodes of BBC’s adaptation of ‘North and South’, got worm-holed (my friend V’s expression, I hope you don’t mind me borrowing, V!) into watching my favorite scenes of ‘Emma’ (Jonny Lee Miller playing the gorgeously correct Mr. Knightly), and rounded up by watching Ciaran Hind in ‘Persuasion’. And WOW! I just can’t ever get enough of historical romances in general and Jane Austen in particular.

 

Amanda Price, I totally empathize with you!

 

Lost in Austen

Lost in Austen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Bridges of Madison County Revisited


‘The Bridges of Madison County’, written by Robert James Waller, has always been one of my favourite books. Some time back, I started reading it again (actually, re-reading it again). But this time as I turned the pages, just one thought kept running in my head–this is not extraordinary! I wondered what had made me feel this book was so special. Probably I had become a cynic. Probably, as Robert Kincaid says, analysis had destroyed the magic.

Then came the day–in the story–when Robert Kincaid parted ways with Francesca Johnson, but in a geographical sense only. That was when my tears started to flow, and did not stop till the last letter of the last word of the last chapter. And I realized that the romantic in me is still alive.

It’s not really the story that holds us, not even the characters by themselves. It’s the words. The book is almost a poem in prose. The descriptions, the dialogues are beautifully poignant. In the end, they are what stayed with me and will compel me to read the book again, and I will once again forget about the disappointing beginning and the mediocre portions.

My favorite phrases from this book:

“I am the highway and a peregrine and all the sails that ever went to sea.”

“I live with dust on my heart”

“The old dreams were good dreams; they didn’t work out, but I’m glad I had them”

“Analysis destroys wholes. Some things, magic things, are meant to stay whole.”

“The reality is not exactly what the song started out to be, but it’s not a bad song.”

“I don’t like feeling sorry for myself”

“I love you, profoundly and completely. And I always will.”

‘There are songs that come free from the blue-eyed grass, from the dust of a thousand country roads’

“To ancient evenings and distant music”

“In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live.”

“Complex things are easy to do. Simplicity is the real challenge.”

“.. and I play that tune for a man named Robert Kincaid and a woman he called Francesca.”

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Mr. Darcy


Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

The 1990’s six part TV miniseries ‘Pride and Prejudice’ starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is the most faithful adaptation of the novel I have seen so far, and the best. My favorite, as of millions others.

This was my attempt to recreate that perfect face and the intensity on it as Mr. Darcy looks on while Elizabeth is playing with a dog.

Of course, you can’t really tell it’s supposed to be Colin Firth.  Even though I cheated a bit, I couldn’t get a likeness.

However, Colin Firth looks absolutely, mind-boggingly gorgeous in this film. And in this scene, which is one of my favorites.

This movie/miniseries is doubly romantic because it has Colin Firth–perhaps the sexiest man alive at the time–playing Mr. Darcy, the most romantic hero ever!

Note: This post is a shout out to my friend Vandana, in response to one of her tweets. Also, I’d like to tell her that what women-around-the-globe truly desire isn’t just Mr. Darcy, but a man who is a combination of Mr. Darcy, Bingley and Wikham, and looks exactly like Colin Firth!

Tell me I’m wrong. Go on, tell me!

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Weekly Writing Challenge: EReader Vs. Paperback


I have to confess, I find ebooks and my Kindle Reader app extremely convenient. All I have to do is keep my phone charged, and I can access tons of books anytime and anywhere. Well, they’d be a ton if I had hardbacks for all of them!

Having said that, I still carry my usual, on average, 2.5 books in my backpack for long trips. I can still spend hours in a bookstore (and do so at least once a month), and my library card is always maxed out. That is why for the WordPress poll, my vote went to ‘paperbacks’. However, I don’t really know why I love paperbacks more than ebooks. Probably I’m just a traditionalist and paperbacks remind me of all the great times I’ve had with books: laughing at Suppandi’s antics, having adventures on the Faraway Tree, solving crimes (actually, if I’m honest, ‘being perplexed by’ would be closer to the truth) with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and Dirk Gently, falling in love with Mr. Darcy and Robert Kincaid and all the various heroes  of the gazillion romance novels I’ve read so far, Hitchhiking the Galaxy with Arthur Dent, and basically doing everything inside my imagination that I’ll possibly never do in real life.

Nostalgia. That’s what makes things precious.

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Old Dreams


Of all the terrible things in this world, I’m sure losing a dream is the most painful.

Its nothing tangible; not painful like a physical injury. Not like when you lose something material, e.g. your favorite silver ear rings or your passport or even a loved one. Because all these things are separate from you, outside of you. Your dream on the other hand had started out as an errant thought, maybe one to which you had paid no attention at first. And then you saw it grow and expand and occupy your whole being as though you were the dream and the dream was you.

It  doesn’t matter if you knew from the start that the chances of this dream coming true are as remote as the chances of the cricket team winning the World Cup three times in a row. It doesn’t matter that you kept telling yourself not to hope, not to nurture it so much. It doesn’t even matter that this was one in a line of many dreams you’ve already seen shattered.

For a few hours or days or weeks or months, it had been your whole world; the reason that you hummed happy songs all the time and stared off into space more than usual, had been the only thing that mattered. When this one dream that had been growing in your subconscious, that kept nudging you at odd times–like a toothache that just wouldn’t go away, only a million times pleasanter–comes crashing down, you feel like the world doesn’t make sense anymore. It is like tearing away a part of your soul.

For a brief period of time in your decades of existence on the Earth, you feel cheated out of something precious. As though the whole Universe is working against you: you wonder why were you even born.

Thankfully however, the soul is more resilient than a torn sheet of paper that can never really be put back together exactly the same way again. The soul has been given the ability to regenerate; to heal all its hurts and pains, given time.

And so you realize you’d been running after a mirage in a desert, chasing your own shadow all this time. Pining after what was just fool’s gold.

But you’re only human, and to hope and to dream is your lot however much you may admonish yourself not to.

And so you dream again.

“The old dreams were good dreams. They didn’t always work out but I’m glad I had them”

-Robert Kincaid in ‘Bridges of Madison County’

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