The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Little Prince is a lovely and strange little book, with plenty of astute observations about youth, old age, humanity, and the nature of imagination and creativity. There are plenty of enlightening thoughts about love in the mix as well.
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
Brontë’s titular heroine suffers much throughout the course of her novel, but by the end she finds comfort in the arms of the only man she ever truly loved: the dark and brooding Rochester. By the end of the novel, the two have been happily married for ten years.
“I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”
Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
It’s difficult to sum up Pasternak’s sprawling epic--just a summary of the events involved could run over a thousand words. But central to the plot is Dr. Zhivago’s love for Lara, a spark that burns when they first meet, and drives them to be together when they meet again years later.
““They loved each other, not driven by necessity, by the "blaze of passion" often falsely ascribed to love. They loved each other because everything around them willed it, the trees and the clouds and the sky over their heads and the earth under their feet.”
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
There is plenty of loss and yearning in Love in the Time of Cholera; it’s composed mainly of the main character’s aching after the woman he loves but can never be with. He waits fifty years to be with her, until finally they have a chance to find happiness together. Make sure you keep the tissues handy when you get to the final chapter.
“Together they had overcome the daily incomprehension, the instantaneous hatred, the reciprocal nastiness, and fabulous flashes of glory in the conjugal conspiracy. It was time when they both loved each other best, without hurry or excess, when both were most conscious of and grateful for their incredible victories over adversity. Life would still present them with other moral trials, of course, but that no longer mattered: they were on the other shore.”