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Spring Romance Books

Image credit: Focus Features

Anyone who has ever experienced an all-consuming love remembers that feeling of euphoria that can only be compared to nature, which awakens from long lethargic sleep and suddenly springs to life. The true magic of this season lies in its ability to rejuvenate our hearts and fill our souls with joyful anticipation of a new chapter in our lives.

This spring, we invite you to escape the mundane and rekindle your love affair with these 10 romance novels, which are best enjoyed outdoors!

Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence

Image credit: BBC Productions

One of the most risqué novels of its time, this tale of forbidden love was considered the best kept secret in romance fiction. Having returned from the World War I paralysed and impotent, Clifford Chatterley begins to suspect his beloved wife of adultery. Stranded in a passionless marriage, Connie finds consolation in the arms of a gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, embarking on the most scandalous extramarital affair that can potentially lead her to downfall. Sensual and stimulating, this delicious guilty pleasure will soon become your little secret, living on the top shelf of your bookcase.

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Image credit: Columbia Pictures

In 1811, Sense and Sensibility- an intriguing new novel by a lady, who would not reveal her true identity- was published in London. Shortly after, the news of a literary phenomenon spread through the city like wildfire. This was the first of many novels by Jane Austen that would fascinate the generations of readers around the world. Seasoned with a fair share of heartbreaks and sprinkled with witty remarks, this rich feast of romance is layered with a range of conflicting emotions, financial uncertainties and social conventions in Victorian society. The story of the Dashwood sisters in their tumultuous pursuit of happiness resonated with young progressive aristocracy and literary gatekeepers alike, encouraging the author to continue her writing career.

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Image credit: ABC Broadcast

A poignant myth of a thorn bird that gives the most beautiful song shortly before its death became an everlasting source of inspiration for this monumental family saga. Spanning three generations, the novel is set against the backdrop of the rugged Australian outback, where resilience and integrity are put to the test. The story follows the triumphs and trials of Maggie Cleary, who, in her desperate search for empathy, grows closer to Father Ralph. When an unlikely friendship between a young woman and a catholic priest blossoms into a hurricane of emotions, the choice between divine duty and earthly love becomes the most excruciating dilemma any human can face.

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Image credit: Warner Brothers

Set in the country of romance, this timeless classic catapulted the French novelist to fame shortly after its publication. Elegant, yet tragic tale portrays Madame Bovary’s search for affection fuelled by her indulgence in sentimental novels. Disappointed in her lacklustre husband and consumed by boredom, Emma is desperate to escape reality to a world of exquisite pleasures. Driven by her carnal desires and her dreams of everlasting love, she becomes entangled in a tormenting web of lies, betrayals and indiscretions. But will her new addiction offer her freedom or is she doomed to fall prey to the ecstasies of love?

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Image credit: ASMIK ACE / Venice Film Festival

Inspired by The Beatles’s famous song, this coming-of-age memoir invites you to take a trip down memory lane together with Toru Watanabe back to his college years in Japan.

As the memories of his youth come flashing back, Toru reveals a bittersweet story of his first love and his struggles navigating the troubled waters of school, isolation, depression and loss. Murakami’s depiction of life on campus is painstakingly realistic, where each student is forced to find their own unique way of dealing with pressures and responsibilities of adult life.

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

Image credit: United Artists

Passion, jealousy and sexual tension all come together in this compelling story of illicit love. Following a brief liaison with a French officer, deserted and disgraced Sarah catches the attention of a recently engaged Charles. Unable to fight the enticing lure of lust, Charles’ fascination with Sarah turns into obsession opening floodgates of unimaginable consequences. When convoluted love triangle threatens to suffocate, the lovers’ hearts as open as their dreams crash like the giant waves against the Lyme Regis Cobb. Despite being conceived in the 20th century, John Fowles’ novel received a seal of approval from the harshest critics for its accurate and vivid portrayal of reality in Victorian era.

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

Image credit: Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Censored by Soviet authorities, this haunting tale describes the devastating effect of Russian Revolution of 1917 on a bourgeois family. Caught in the midst of a tumultuous period in history, Dr. Yury Zhivago becomes increasingly frustrated when political circumstances interfere with the lives of ordinary people. Torn between his loyalty to his wife and the urge to taste forbidden fruit, Yury channels his anger into philosophical poems that became an integral part of the plot, enriching the novel. In the great epic tradition, the story seamlessly interweaves the brutality and harshness of the war with romance between star-crossed lovers into a heart-rending saga of love.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Image credit: Searchlight

Set in the 19th-century English village of Weatherbury, a bittersweet love story follows the life of Bathsheba Everdene, a beautiful, financially independent and high-spirited young woman, who finds herself in the centre of a love triangle. Bathsheba is pursued by three suitors: a devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak, a seductive and reckless Sergeant Troy and a wealthy reclusive farmer William Boldwood. For Bathsheba, the path to true happiness is paved with broken hearts, scandal, and betrayal. Thomas Hardy creates a timeless masterpiece depicting tranquil countryside against the personal transformation of each character.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Image credit: Starz

A fast-moving historical novel that defies traditional genres, Outlander is a romance with time travel! This addictive tale of love and battles is set against a background of a rich Caledonian history and culture, and follows the adventures of Claire, an accidental time traveller who stumbles into 18th Century Scotland after walking through a circle of standing stones.

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster

Image credit: Goldcrest Film International

This thought-provoking, fast-paced classic novel tells the story of a young English girl Lucy Honeychurch who tours around Italy accompanied by a chaperone. Aimed at broadening her horizons, the vacation presents Lucy with an opportunity to meet new people who challenge her views. Soon she becomes inextricably involved in a love triangle with strait-laced Cecil Vyse and doting George Emerson. Caught between one true love and a call of duty, Lucy rebels against the snobbery of Edwardian society. E. M. Forster displays a genius for addressing rigid social structure, sexual oppression and the nature of love stunning the readers with incredible insight into the issues.

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