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Love Stories: Fiction

Updated: February 10, 2021

In love stories happily ever after is not guaranteed, but sometimes it does happen. 

Anna Karenina : a novel in eight parts
Tolstoy, Leo, graf, 1828-1910,
Call Number:

Set in 19th century Russia, Tolstoy portrays the ill-fated love affair between Anna and Count Vronsky.  The new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky presents an accessible version which offers readers insights into the time period and setting.

Boyfriend material
Hall, Alexis J

Alexis Hall (a consistently good genre fiction author) broke into the mainstream with this romatic comedy. The novel follows Luc O'Donnell, the son of a famous rock star, as he works to rehabilitate his tattered media image with the help of uptight barrister, Oliver Blackwood. As Luc and Oliver enter into a fake-dating agreement, there are many fun allusions to classic British rom-coms such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, but this book is very much its own quirky creation.

Cape May
Cheek, Chip,

In this lovely first novel by L.A. writer Chip Cheek, a young couple from rural Georgia oddly choose late summer/early fall to spend their honeymoon in Cape May, New Jersey. Summer season has ended and the weather is cooling. They encounter a more cosmopolitan, and quite scandalous, set of friends during their brief time there, and quickly get swept up in a boozy, party atmosphere that will affect them long after their time in Cape May has ended. 

Conventionally yours
Albert, Annabeth

Two diametrically opposed gamers find themselves on a cross-country road trip to compete in a life-changing competition. What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly go right? There are surprise on the trip and after the young men arrive in Las Vegas. Readers will be kept guessing about winner. The novel explores a number of realistic concerns, insecurities and potential misunderstandings, allowing the relationship to develop nicely.

A Farewell to Arms
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
Call Number: Ed.g

Set within the context of World War I, the love story of Lieutenant Henry and nurse Catherine Barkley is thwarted by bad luck and bad timing.

The feast of love
Baxter, Charles, 1947-

Charles Baxter's novel evokes magic about real people who are in love: some with the right person, some with the wrong person. His writing is beautifully profound about the longing, heartache, and unexpected gifts that love brings.

Fever at dawn
Gardos, Peter, 1948-

A small gem of a love story, based on the lives of the author's parents. It is 1945, and a 25-year-old Hungarian, who has survived a concentration camp, is deathly ill in a Swedish hospital. With a six-month death sentence, he feels free of inhibitions, and writes to 117 Hungarian women, also recovering camp survivors living in Sweden. Lili is the one who answers, and the rest becomes history.

Gigi, and selected writings. By Colette. With a foreword by Elaine Marks.
Colette, 1873-1954.
Call Number: Ed.b

The novella is set in Paris, around 1899. Gigi is being trained and groomed to become a grand courtesan, following in the footsteps of several generations of female realitives. Worldly, wealthy and jaded Gaston Lachaille falls in love with her.

Green wheat : a novel
Colette, 1873-1954.

French writer Colette tenderly explores adolescent love between two childhood friends, Phil and Vinca.

The house at the edge of night : a novel
Banner, Catherine.

An enchanting love story between two unlikley people, and the many stories from four generations of family members who live on the fictitious island, Castellamare (Sea Castle), somewhere near Sicily.

The house at the end of Hope Street : a novel
Praag, Menna van.

An unusual love story that revolves around a house in London guarded by the spirits of famous female writers (George Eliot, Beatrix Potter and others).Young women, who need guidance and mentoring in their personal and professional lives, are selected to spend 99 nights at the house.

I am an executioner : love stories
Parameswaran, Rajesh.

A striking debut collection of short fiction that traffics in desire. In "The Infamous Bengal Ming," a lovesick tiger mauls his keeper and then prowls the city in anguish under helicopter high beams. In "Demons," a quietly desperate wife idly wishes her husband dead, then is crushed by guilt when he suddenly dies of a heart attack. These characters - human, animal, and insect - bear the puzzling weight of destroying what they love, or being destroyed by it.

Invisible love
Schmitt, Eric-Emmanuel.

A collection of short stories about varieties of love and loss: parental love for a child, love of a pet dog, love among the elderly and the young, and love of remembrance.

The lady of the Camellias
Dumas, Alexandre, 1824-1895.
Call Number: Ed.c

The love story of Marguerite Gautier, a courtesan suffering from tuberculosis, and young Armand Duval. His bourgeois family disapproves and persuades Marguerite leave Armand, who thinks she has left him for another man. Marguerite suffers a long painful death. The novel inspired the opera La Traviata, and many films and ballets.

The love letter
Schine, Cathleen.

An anonymous love letter shakes up a woman's orderly life in a small east coast seaside village. 

The lover
Duras, Marguerite.
Call Number: Ed.c

Marguerite Duras' semi-autobiographical novel is about the love affair between an adolescent French colonial girl and an older Chinese businessman, set in French colonial Vietnam

Our souls at night
Haruf, Kent.

Addie Moore asks Louis Waters, "I wonder if you would consider coming to my house sometimes to sleep with me. ... And talk?" She then adds, "I am talking about getting through the night." Both of these senior citizens, who are neighbors in Holt Colorado, have lost their spouses. Kent Haruf's last novel elegantly speaks to the loneliness both people feel, and how they overcome it despite the mean-spirited disapproval of friends and relatives.

Portrait of Jennie
Nathan, Robert, 1894-1985.

A haunting, ethereal story of timeless love. A talented young artist cannot find the right inspiration to make his work great, until he meets a young schoolgirl in Central Park. His portrait of her is the key to his success. 

The postman = [Il postino]
Skarmeta, Antonio.

Pablo Neruda's passionate love poetry is the catalyst for a modern love story.

Ramona : a story
Jackson, Helen Hunt, 1830-1885.
Call Number: Ed.u

A historical novel set in southern California in 1884, Ramona is a mixed race orphan who suffers discrimination within her own family. She falls in love with Alessandro, a Native American.  They marry and set out on a journey to find a place to settle, but personal tragedies plague them.

Simmer down
Smith, Sarah, 1985-
Call Number: e-Book

When her beloved father passes away, Nikki DiMarco leaves her life behind in the Pacific Northwest and moves to Maui to help her mother run their Filipino food truck. But when a British food truck run by the swoon-worthy Callum James and his brother tries to take over their prime parking spot, threatening their slim profits, the fryer oil isn't the only thing that heats up.

The sound of waves
Mishima, Yukio, 1925-1970.
Call Number: Ed.a
This is a tale of first-time love. The setting is a remote island village in Japan where the young couple must overcome the usual obstacles of social status and town gossip. This is a rather conventional tale, but it is Mishima's telling of it with simple honesty that never over-dramatizes the tribulations of the young couple. This book is for those in search of an old fashioned tale of first love conquering all odds, written with just the right mixture of realism and romance.

The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616.
Call Number: 822.33 R7Mo 2011

William Shakespeare's play about two young lovers caught in the web of their respective family feuds.

Writers & lovers : a novel
King, Lily

Underwater on student debt and living in a room that used to be a potting shed, 31-year-old Casey Peabody pedals through Harvard Square on someone’s discarded bicycle to get to her waitressing job. While most of her peers have abandoned their creative pursuits, Casey is still attempting to finish the novel she has been writing for six years. With a fine blend of humor and despair, she wends her way through the backstabbing and self-aggrandizing worlds of restaurant workers and authors, bolstered by friends and two potential lovers who, like Casey, are grieving the loss of a relative.