Contributor at LifeBeyondNumbers
I am Saumya Sahni, a Journalism graduate from University of Delhi. I hold a penchant for reading and a flair for writing. However, the frenzy for writing is such that I could just go on elaborating and not STOP! As a dramatic, over-the-top, overtly emotional person, I have an affinity for Bollywood movies. I have derived most of the important life lessons from dialogues like, “Hanso, gao, muskarao, kya pata kal ho na ho."

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Words shall fall short. Competent of the competent philosophers can come together but none of them shall be successful in defining love. Love is to each, his own. If you ask me, love is an overflowing gown that hugs our souls in a way nothing else does.  But, this gown comes at a price. It is seldom easy and is a two-way lane.

I am an avid Ted Mosby fan and I have taken his quotes to my heart. “Love doesn’t make sense. You cannot logic your way in or out of love.

Love is patient and involves a lot of hard work. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted. But, nothing equals to the bliss that graces one’s life when he/she unites with his/her beloved for life. After all, they will be in this life, together. They fought all odds because their bond was sacrosanct. The reward of a garland of lifelong commitment is what they both get at the end of everything and every hurdle they pass through.

Isn’t it fascinating to evaluate your journey with your partner to know how far you both have come in this? From becoming partners in crime to standing up for each other in sour times, you didn’t let go of each other and that is what epic love stories are all about.

Here is a compilation of six offbeat love stories that are beyond all the mushiness of romance and are brilliant in portraying love as it is. Pick your type, grab that hot cup of coffee, put on your reading glasses and set off on a magical journey with these characters from the novels below.

1. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García-Márquez

must read love stories

I have recently finished reading this gem of a novel by the author and I must confess that unrequited love has been depicted at its purest in this book. What began as a clandestine love affair between these lovebirds took a twist in the plot when Fermina met Dr. Urbino and married him. Meanwhile, Florentino’s promiscuity gets the better of him. However, he approaches Fermina after Dr. Urbino’s death and Fermina gives him a second chance. Give this a chance if you are in a mood to know everything about tough love, infidelity and everything in between.

To read the book, click here.

2. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

must read love stories

The Giving Tree is a children’s book but the theme doesn’t fit the age of innocence. While I would not recommend this book for kids, adults can see through the complexities of relationships through the equation that the boy and the female tree shared in the book. The Tree is a giver and the boy evolves into a ‘taking’ man, later. As the Boy grows up, he begins to spend less time with her and only goes to her when he wishes to fulfill his material pursuits. However, the Tree was happy as long as she was able to provide him material happiness. Read this to understand in depth about an emotionally toxic relationship.

To read the book, click here.

3. One Day by David Nicholls

must read love stories

One Day was named as Galaxy Book of the Year in 2o10. And, it is not without reasons. One Day is the story of Dexter and Emma wherein each chapter covers the lives of these two as on July 15 for twenty years. The plot is riveting and manages to hook you till the very end. “Will-they-or-won’t-they” will not let you put the book down till you have reached the climax. They do not become romantically involved in the beginning but deepen their bond as they progress with their friendship. Coincidences prevent Emma and Dexter from getting together and they keep seeing other people, secretly longing for each other. While they do get together following a string of events, Emma dies in the later part of the novel which jeopardizes Dexter’s life. The book ends with flashbacks of their goodbye kiss, promises to stay in touch and the eventual goodbye in twenty years. It is just any other novel but a piece that has a potential to break your heart. It has also been adapted into a movie by the same name.

To read the book, click here.

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4. Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

must read love stories

Breathing Lessons won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1989. The author, Anne is recognized for her fully – developed characters. Characters that are like you and I. Her detailed and accurate mannerisms of a certain character make each and every Tyler novel worth a read and Breathing Lessons is a testimony of the same. Ira and Maggie Morgan are married and are on their way to attend a funeral. During this journey, the couple evaluates the joys and pains of their marriage carefully accounting their ambitions which they had to go forego and settle for an ‘ordinary life’ together. The trip dwells into their incompatibilities as a pair due to them having contrast personalities. Ira’s quote from the book has stayed with me years after reading this piece. “It’s Maggie’s weakness. She believes it’s all right to alter people’s lives. She thinks the people she loves are better than they really are, and so then she starts changing things around to suit her point of view of them.” In my opinion, all of us have a Maggie in all of us and this is why this novel should not be missed at any cost.

To read the book, click here.

5. Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

must read love stories

Passionately devastating, Our Souls at Night proves that love is timeless and bonds surpass everything that has got to do with age. Two elderly, lonely neighbors find solace in each other’s company but the families make sure that peace stays put from their lives, altogether. There is something about late-blossoming romance that raises a hell lot of eyebrows. In reality, very few cases of elderly romance see the light from the society. The author has dealt with as much sensitivity as possible with respect to the subject.

To read the book, click here.

6. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

must read love stories

I am sure that the ones who have read this gritty piece swear by its twisted plot. It is the love story of a man with a disorder that causes him to travel back and forth in time and his wife who has to cope with his absences and life-threatening experiences. The book is a tell-all-establishes connects between love, loss and free will. Time travel has been used as a metaphor to explore distance in relationships and also questions existential crises from time-to-time. The book uses first-person experiences of the two protagonists adding to its overall appeal.

To read the book, click here.

These six novels stand for the plots they carry in their words. While there are many more of them, I would recommend all of these so that you can reserve your weekends and let these reads transport you in a worldly world where the magic happens in stories.

I promise. You are not going to get disappointed!

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