Romantic Fiction

Between the sickly sweet of Nicholas Sparks and the pure raunch of bodice rippers, romance novels have fallen into disrepute. They're considered (in most cases, rightfully so) to be unrealistic, shallow and poorly written. Such representations of the romantic bond between a man and woman lead invariably to expectations that not only will never, but can never be fulfilled. Why fill our minds with such drivel? More to the point, why let our kids fill their minds with such drivel?

Yet men and women fall in love and get married all the time. Or get married and fall in love, as the case may be. Our best literature examines and chronicles the realities of existence—do we make an exception for matters of the heart? Do we cut out all the bad romance novels....and with them, the works of Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and George MacDonald?

Just because something can be misused doesn't mean we also need to dispense with its good manifestations. Really, anything can be misused, including those things we value most. Hands aren't bad because people kill each other with them. Words aren't bad because people lie. It's the same with literary genres. Because certain "writers" abuse the romance genre doesn't mean we shouldn't read good romance novels, and even (horror of horrors!) enjoy them.

There are few more universal stories than that of a boy and girl in love. As much as we want to keep our children pure (especially in our debauched society), we also want them to see and appreciate the beauty of true romance. We also want them to understand the difficulties love entails, the self-sacrifice and the frustration, the pain as well as the joy. That's why you won't find any books by Nicholas Sparks or Danielle Steele here, that celebrate one element of love over others, that honor love as a feeling or impulse, but not as a choice or decision.

For that reason, Jane Austen may be the best romance writer of all time. Nothing terribly exciting happens to any of her characters (just as nothing terribly exciting happens to most of us), there are always obstacles to happiness (no romance is truly easy), and yet each honorable romantic attachment ends where it should—in marriage. You'll find all of Austen's books in this section, and many others like them, books that promote purity and honor and humility over the lust and blind passion that fills the romance novels of today.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.
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24 Items found Print
Active Filters: Hardcover
Anna and the King of Siam
by Margaret Landon
for 9th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
Anne of the Island
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by L.M. Montgomery
from Grosset & Dunlap
Orphan Stories for
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Black Rose
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-Adult
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Christy
by Catherine Marshall
from McGraw-Hill
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$6.50 (1 in stock)
Classic Library: Jane Eyre & Wuthering Heights
from Smithmark Publishers
for 8th-Adult
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Dot and the Line
by Norton Juster
from Chronicle Books
for 1st-2nd grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$8.49
Freckles
by Gene Stratton-Porter
from Western Publishing
Romantic Fiction for 7th-10th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$7.50 (1 in stock)
High Towers
by Thomas B. Costain
from Doubleday & Company
for 8th-12th grade
in Historical Fiction (Location: FIC-HIF)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Jane Eyre
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by Charlotte Bronte
from Grosset & Dunlap
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
from Random House
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
Little Women
Illustrated Junior Library Series 4
by Louisa May Alcott
from Grosset & Dunlap
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 4th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Little Women
Sterling Classics
by Louisa May Alcott & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$14.95
Little Women
Illustrated Junior Library Series 1
by Louisa May Alcott
from Grosset & Dunlap
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 4th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Little Women
Illustrated Junior Library Series 2
by Louisa May Alcott
from Grosset & Dunlap
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 4th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Little Women
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Louisa May Alcott
from Grosset & Dunlap
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 4th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Little Women
Sterling Classics
by Louisa May Alcott & Scott McKowen
Reprint from Breslich & Foss
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Little Women
Sterling Classics
by Louisa May Alcott & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Everyman's Library
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 5th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
Pride and Prejudice
Illustrated Junior Library Series 3
by Jane Austen
from Grosset & Dunlap
Realistic Romantic Fiction for 8th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Scaramouche
Signet Classics
by Rafael Sabatini
from Grosset & Dunlap
Historical Romance for 9th-Adult
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Scarlet Pimpernel
by Baroness Orczy
from Everyman's Library
for 8th-Adult
in Adventure Stories (Location: FIC-ADV)
$17.95
Sense and Sensibility
Everyman's Library
by Jane Austen
from Barnes & Noble
Romantic Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Wuthering Heights
Everyman's Library
by Emily Bronte
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Realistic Fiction for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$20.40
Wuthering Heights
by Emily Bronte
from Portland House
for 12th-Adult
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Year Down Yonder
by Richard Peck
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-9th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$4.50 (2 in stock)