Five for Valentines Day
I’m not much of a romance reader but I don’t mind a novel with a romance in it. So, in honor of February’s favorite holiday here are five novels from my 2013 reading that have a romance as a prominent part of the story.
Elizabeth the First Wife by Lian Dolan features a Shakespearean teacher at a Community College who spends the summer at the Ashland Oregon festival coaching her movie star ex-husband in the nuances of the Bard. Meanwhile she is subletting her house in Southern California to a very interesting and attractive man. The book includes relationship tips based on Shakespeare’s plays–lots of fun!
The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman gives readers a view of the dating scene from the point of view of two sisters ‘of a certain age’ in Manhattan. One is the victim of the Madoff scandal. She has the penthouse from her recent divorce, but little else, so her recently widowed sister moves in with her to pool their limited resources.
Oleander Girl by Chitra Divakaruni starts with the engagement of two young people in Calcutta but takes a dramatic turn with the discover by the young woman that the story she was always told about her dead mother was not the truth. She goes to America to try to find out this truth only to make a startling discovery. Will it mean the end of her engagement? The description of contemporary India reveals a place that is still exotic in many ways.
Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic romantic and family novel. Trollope is one of my favorite authors for fast paced family stories which often include a romance or two.
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wrecker is a wonderful fantasy about two magical creatures who unexpectedly find themselves in early 20th century New York City and become close despite their initial distrust of each other.