novels to read to understand the true meaning of love

Twound

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Hi everyone
Since love has lost its meaning these days and there are different views about it, further studies are needed.
Some think love means that two people fall in love with each other, go to the park and the cinema, buy flowers for each other, and live under one roof. It seems to me that anyone who saw the love that way has never been in love with one day.
That's why we need to read more books, some romance books like Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre or Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby.
Which book have you read that has changed your mind about love? Introduce the best books in this field to understand the concept of love more
 

hitmouse

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Hi everyone
Since love has lost its meaning these days and there are different views about it, further studies are needed.
Speak for yourself. Love certainly hasnt lost its meaning for me.
Having said that, love is a very individual and strange thing, and a worthy subject for consideration in music and literature. I think "studies" may have limited mileage.
 

Twound

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Speak for yourself. Love certainly hasnt lost its meaning for me.
Having said that, love is a very individual and strange thing, and a worthy subject for consideration in music and literature. I think "studies" may have limited mileage.
Please don't get upset, I don't mean everyone or every person on the earth
 

Venusian Broon

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One could start at the 'start' and have a look at the Greek myths, obviously involving Aphrodite, but there are many other deities. The lesson being however desirable it is to be in love and to experience all the positive feelings...it also has a dark destructive side. Aphrodite was not a goddess to trifle with!

I know they are not novels, but still worthwhile.
 

Boneman

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A Kind of Loving Trilogy by Stan Barstow. First one sets the scene, 2nd one brings love to the fore, and the third almost finishes it. I say almost because, although the hero and heroine are together, there's still room for uncertainty.
 

tobl

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the count of monte cristo by alexandre dumas
a stranger in a strange land by robert heinlein
i think with these two you get there
 

soulsinging

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Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was affecting when I read it, though I wonder if it has aged well.

Also, Milan Kundera's Unbearable Lightness of Being is excellent as well.
 

vanye

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Love is one of those words that mean so many different things to so many people that it has become almost meaningless by itself. You have to go out and find your own meaning.

Two books by Erich Fromm helped me a lot in my own quest:
  1. The Art of Loving
  2. To Have or to Be
In the end, though, theory is not helpful without experience, no matter how painful.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Loads! Gatsby, for sure, in a kind of stalkerish fashion.
I like The Time Travellers Wife - very good duality shown there.
Also plays - Playboy of the Western World is great.
For SF Miles in Love collection (Bujold) is great fun.
Paula by Isabelle Allende about a mother-daughter love. (A little known NI book called My Lady of the Chimney Corner is great for mother-son)

but for me Bridges of Madison County tops most.
 

Abernovo

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I'd say it's impossible to come up with a definitive answer to suit everyone. It's too complicated, and very much a subjective opinion. That said....

The Great Gatsby leaves me cold. I felt no connection with the characters. In fact, I had to force myself to finish the book, hoping it would improve -- it did not.

However, like Jo, I loved The Bridges of Madison County. The Price of Salt, by Claire Morgan (Patricia Highsmith) was compelling in its depiction of devotion, and heartbreak. I would also recommend Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters (be warned, it is racy).

Oddly enough, the only Heinlein book I really like, Job: A Comedy of Justice, does a pretty good job, with the hapless (and, to begin with, not particularly likeable) main character realising he's willing to do anything to be with the love of his life.

There is also something to be said for lighter, less serious romance novels, which touch on a truth without needing to go into analysis of what love is. So, I like the novels of Georgette Heyer, much of the writing of Melissa Brayden, and the supernatural-tinged romances of EJ Tett (our own Mouse).

Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet shows some of the myriad forms love can take, and has a permanent place in my heart. I know not everyone finds it equally enthralling, but isn't that one of the beauties of love, that it truly is in the eye of the beholder? (Sorry, I think I made even myself a little sick with that comment!)

I think true perfection of form, though, goes to Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Of her finished novels, this is so complex, so well-developed, it's raised to a different level.

I'll admit, I quite like romances.
 

Jo Zebedee

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I'd say it's impossible to come up with a definitive answer to suit everyone. It's too complicated, and very much a subjective opinion. That said....

The Great Gatsby leaves me cold. I felt no connection with the characters. In fact, I had to force myself to finish the book, hoping it would improve -- it did not.

However, like Jo, I loved The Bridges of Madison County. The Price of Salt, by Claire Morgan (Patricia Highsmith) was compelling in its depiction of devotion, and heartbreak. I would also recommend Tipping the Velvet, by Sarah Waters (be warned, it is racy).

Oddly enough, the only Heinlein book I really like, Job: A Comedy of Justice, does a pretty good job, with the hapless (and, to begin with, not particularly likeable) main character realising he's willing to do anything to be with the love of his life.

There is also something to be said for lighter, less serious romance novels, which touch on a truth without needing to go into analysis of what love is. So, I like the novels of Georgette Heyer, much of the writing of Melissa Brayden, and the supernatural-tinged romances of EJ Tett (our own Mouse).

Becky Chambers' The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet shows some of the myriad forms love can take, and has a permanent place in my heart. I know not everyone finds it equally enthralling, but isn't that one of the beauties of love, that it truly is in the eye of the beholder? (Sorry, I think I made even myself a little sick with that comment!)

I think true perfection of form, though, goes to Persuasion, by Jane Austen. Of her finished novels, this is so complex, so well-developed, it's raised to a different level.

I'll admit, I quite like romances.
My husband also mentioned Jane Austen :)
Would second our own Mouse

A few others I like
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Rachel’s Holiday
 

Abernovo

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin! A joy to read. But only if I leave the dubious last chapter out (we've had this discussion before -- the last few pages of that book are the equivalent to the last 5 minutes of the film Kissing Jessica Stein (No! What are you thinking? Just no!)).

I'll now have to look out Rachel's Holiday, which I've not heard of before.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin! A joy to read. But only if I leave the dubious last chapter out (we've had this discussion before -- the last few pages of that book are the equivalent to the last 5 minutes of the film Kissing Jessica Stein (No! What are you thinking? Just no!)).

I'll now have to look out Rachel's Holiday, which I've not heard of before.
It’s really funny - Marian Keyes, about addiction and recovery and love. I cry at the end every time - in a good snotty way. You’d like it.
Agreed on the end of Corelli.
 

Finch

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As this is a science fiction related web site , I wold like to suggest Orwell's 1984 . It is basically a love story . Two people knowingly risked their lives in exchange for affection and companionship , but it ended badly .

Under the spreading chestnut tree
I sold you and you sold me
There lie they, and here lie we
Under the spreading chestnut tree
 

Stephen Palmer

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Love is one of those words that mean so many different things to so many people that it has become almost meaningless by itself. You have to go out and find your own meaning.

Two books by Erich Fromm helped me a lot in my own quest:
  1. The Art of Loving
  2. To Have or to Be
In the end, though, theory is not helpful without experience, no matter how painful.
How marvellous to see this quote! Fromm wasn't just one of the great humanists, he was one of the great human beings. An extraordinary man. Great to see that people still remember him 40 years after he died.
 
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