By Andrea Silva Santisteban Fort, February 13 2021—
On Feb. 14 of every year we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday focused on love and friendship. With that theme in mind, I would like to recommend five books that deal with love and relationships in an anything-but-typical way — no rom-coms here!
In my opinion, these books grasp the subject of love in a very unique way:
Normal People is a book centered around the complex relationship between the two main characters — Marianne and Connell. Their story starts in high school, but the plot follows them through the years as their paths collide and diverge. This novel is a dissection of the very meaning of love, an observation of how quickly things change and how difficult it is for people to come together. Now, this is a very popular book with very mixed reviews. Some have loved it and some absolutely hated it. Nevertheless, it is definitely a uniquely-written contemporary novel that dives into the complex subjects of solitude, solace and love.
Verity is thriller-romance book about Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer who is provided with a unique task — to continue to write Verity Crawford’s popular book series. The person who is offering this deal is Verity Crawford’s husband, as his injured wife is unable to finish the task. Lowen agrees to complete the series, moves the couple’s house in Vermont and finds herself sorting through Verity’s papers in a journey into her creative mind. While digging through Verity’s notes, she comes across a manuscript that appears to be Verity’s autobiography. Lowen gets caught up in Verity’s story — a tale of obsession, lies and death. In this book, Colleen Hoover does a great job of building suspense and fear into an excellent plot.
Our Darkest Night is a book set in Italy during World War II. It that tells the story of Nico and Nina. Nico Gerardi, a former seminary student, is a caring man who’s willing to pretend to be married to Nina to keep her safe. Antonina is a young Jewish woman who leaves Venice, her hometown, and pretends to be Nicos’s wife in order to hide from the Nazis. The newlyweds try to survive the hardships of the war together as they get to know each other. Our Darkest Night is a tale about resilience, sacrifice, loss, family, hope and a reminder that love conquers all.
Aristotle is an angry and guarded boy. He is constantly haunted by the silence of his father and the absence of his imprisoned older brother. Dante is a lovable and sensitive boy. One day they meet at the local swimming pool and despite being complete opposites, they become best friends. As the young teenagers start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship — “the kind that changes lives.” It is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be. This book is amazingly written and tells a beautiful story of friendship, self-discovery and acceptance.
This book tells the story of the love developed between Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza in the setting of a small Caribbean town. I don’t want to get into too much detail about the plot as this is the type of book you have to go into blindly. Nonetheless, I will mention that this novel is a beautifully narrated tale, told over the course of more than sixty years, that revolves around the mad perseverance of frustrated love. It’s set in a time when, according to the narrator, the signs of falling in love “could be mistakes for the symptoms of cholera.” The Colombian author, García Marquez, emphasizes in this book transcendental issues such as family, friendship and love in different stages of life.