Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and, as February 14th approaches, a lot of people’s minds turn to romance. Movies, music, books and merchandise are full of hearts and Cupids and tender thoughts this time of year. Although some people are much bigger fans of the romance genre than others, it is an area of literature that cannot be ignored. In fact, romances are the most popular genre of all!
Some people view romance novels as smut or low-class fiction. Yet there are many novels that have plots heavy with romance that are considered to be literary masterpieces. A number of romance novels have actually found their way into high school reading lists. For homeschoolers and traditional schoolers alike these books are must-reads.
Among the romantic books selected for the high school reading list is “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen, “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare, “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” (both by Charlotte Bronte) and “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. Although not all of these novels are considered strictly romance (such as “Our Town” which is generally categorized as more of a drama), each and every one of these works contains romantic elements.
Romance and love are part of the fabric of daily life and that is why these themes are often entwined in fictional plots. From modern day soap operas to classic operas, romance is a recurring focus point. During the Valentine’s Day season it is beneficial to discuss precisely what makes a romantic story romantic and how skilled authors can use dialogue and plot twists to illustrate an emotion that is among the most difficult to describe or explain.