In March, we introduced a new service: the Reading Doctor. Read more about Dr Louise here. And do feel free to request further prescriptions, as needed!
Prescription #10: something for re-kindling
Coming out of bubble life, some relationships might be under strain. Are there some enduring stories of love and romance to help re-kindle romantic relationships, or provide some escapism?
If absence really does make the heart grow fonder, then the course of true love is running less than smoothly at the moment. These stories of the kind of love which endures through thick and thin, sickness and health, trial and tribulation, may wrench a tear or two, pluck at the heartstrings, and perhaps inspire more tender thoughts towards one’s oh-so-familiar bubble-buddies.
Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, tells the story of Ellis Lacey, who emigrates from Ireland to New York in the 1950s, torn between those two lives, two futures, and two men.
The slow-burning, steady and steadfast love affair between Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth is the theme of Persuasion by Jane Austen.
The intense love between Achilles and Patroclus comes to a violent end next to a wine dark sea, in Madeline Miller’s revisioning of Homer’s epic of the Trojan war, The Song of Achilles.
A magical circus in Victorian London is the setting for the fantasy The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, in which two young lovers are magically bound to compete against each other in a deadly competition.
To Calais in Ordinary Time, by James Meek, is a tender and clever riff on the traditions of courtly love, as disparate travellers and various couples join a party heading from England to France in the 14th century.
Though never-quite-realised, the love between the butler and the housekeeper of a great British house endures 30 years in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
The Matriarch, the subject of the book by Witi Ihimaera, is a woman of power, wit and beauty, whose history hides a tale of enduring love.
In Exit West, by Mohsin Hamid, a young couple meets, falls in love, and flee the civil war which surrounds them to encounter new challenges as refugees, trials which alter the nature of their love without overcoming it.
The arc of a relationship over time is the subject of The Course of Love by Alain de Botton, which is also a kind of therapeutic guide to the realities of love, often so different to the ideal.