Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Top nine wonderfully quirky love stories

Laura Barnett is an author and journalist. Her first novel, The Versions of Us, is now out in the UK and will be published in the US in May 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. One of her top nine unconventional love stories, as shared at the Daily Express:
Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler - probably my favourite author of all time - sets all her novels in and around Baltimore, where she lives. When I first started reading Tyler as a teenager, I had never been there, but I was utterly drawn in by her sense of place, and the characters that people it.

Now, I visit Baltimore often - my husband has family there - so the city, and Tyler’s characters, have come to even more vivid life. I love all her novels, but none more than Breathing Lessons, which is an unconventional love story not only in terms of structure - it is set over just one day, on which a long-married couple, Ira and Maggie Moran, are driving to a funeral - but in subject matter, too.

So many love stories focus on the passion of a first encounter and its aftermath, but Tyler is unafraid to confront love’s more workaday side: the pushes and pulls of a long relationship; the strains exerted by family, personality, and having to earn a living. It is a master class in how a novel can distil entire lives, in all their ordinary glory, onto the page.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue