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Tansy Rayner Roberts

The Lovers

August 11th, 2010 at 20:36

Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)

Oh I have lots of these! Let me think.

There’s Jessica Darling and Marcus Flutie from the books by Megan McCafferty – you saw them snogging yesterday, I think. I really enjoyed the fact that McCafferty followed their relationship over five books and I think about ten years in all, taking them through the stages of awkward, weird but intense friendship, awkward teen romance, long distance sweethearts, seriously uncomfortable exes, and various other stops along the way. They felt real in that they both did the kinds of stupid things that young people do, and their friendships and relationships with other people felt just as real. I went into the final book seriously not being able to tell whether they would end up together or apart, and not even sure which version of that would be a happy ending.

There’s Elizabeth and Darcy – there’s ALWAYS Elizabeth and Darcy. I love this book dearly for many reasons, and I think part of the reason that it is such an excellent romance is that – once again – it’s about the faults of both characters, and how love means forgiving/accepting the flaws of the other
person while attempting to rectify your own. It only works, of course, if it comes from both parties. Too often in real life, people desperately try to act out their half of a love story, without the other person doing their share of the work. (Austen has some great examples of this uneven kind of relationship too, particularly Marianne & Willoughby) I should add that I always had a soft spot for Emma & Mr Knightley too, though my tolerance for Emma’s faults has worn off the corners a bit the older I get. They are less epic than Elizabeth and Darcy, but still terribly sweet.

I recently read Poppy Z Brite’s The Value of X, which had been sitting on my to read shelf for over a year, and fell in love with Rickey and G-Man all over again. In Prime, Liquor and Soul Kitchen, these two sexy chefs sizzled up the page, in books that are ostensibly noir mysteries but are really all about documenting what it’s like to work the line in the New Orleans restaurant scene. I love stories that have a strong romantic theme that are about established couples, and these books have that in spades. Calm, capable G-Man and crazy, manic, brilliant Rickey make a great pair, and while I enjoyed that ‘established relationship’ aspect of the books, it was still fantastic to be able to read ‘X,’ which told the story of how these best friends got together as teenagers, and how their families dealt with it.

Another deep favourite is from The Course of Honour by Lindsey Davis – until very recently, her only non-Falco novel. It depicts the love story of the Emperor Vespasian and slave/freedwoman Caenis, which is historical fact, though Caenis is only mentioned about three times in the primary sources. Davis takes this footnote of a real character and creates a believable story of her whole life, and how it could be that a former imperial slave ended up the mistress of an Emperor. She also brings to life Vespasian, who is immortalised in history as an old man who won an empire and kept it together for ten years, depicting what he might have been like in his youth. Though based on real characters, this is most definitely a work of fiction (which had far less to work from than, for example, Robert Graves with the Claudians) and their love story is gut-wrenching, funny, stressful, gorgeous, and worthy of a big screen epic movie.

I also love love love Howl and Sophie, Thomas and Janet, Nick and Mae, Young Jolyon and Irene, Owen and Hazel, Min and Cal, Hawk and Fisher, Harriet and Peter, Ned and Verity, Princess Mia and Michael & Alanna and George. Ten points to anyone who can name all the books!

My oldest ships are probably Trixie Belden with Jim Freyne, and Laura Ingalls Wilder with Almanzo. I also totally wanted Jill & Eustace, and John Walker & Nancy Blackett, to get together when they grew up.

Other Days of the Book Meme:

Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you’ve read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series OR your favorite book of all time
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book (of any sex or gender)
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss
Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

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4 Responses to “The Lovers”

  1. Millie Says:

    Ooh I want to read Are We There Yet now.

  2. Millie Says:

    Woah, wrong post. You know where it goes!

  3. Kaia kommer hem » Blog Archive » Day 21: favorite romantic/sexual relationship Says:

    [...] Kanske för att de jag vill ska bli ihop i böcker aldrig blir det, Harry och Ginny undantaget. Tansys svar på frågan var Jessica Darling/Marcus Flutie, och jag gillar dem, men då jag bara har läst en bok och de [...]

  4. 30 Days of Books, days 21-23 « Jumbled Words Says:

    [...] will be easier. I have much easier coming up with sibling/friend/cousinship than love stuff. Tansy’s response, Jessica Darling/Marcus Flutie, was awesome, but I’ve only read one book so I don’t [...]

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