Posted On January 11, 2014 by Print This Post

Reader Roundup – Classic Romance Stories with Amy Alessio

Amy AlessioWhat are your reading goals for 2014? Many people have a goal to read the classics, so why not try some classic love stories? These titles will not be new, but try the audio or movie versions for extra fun.

gone with the windMargaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is pretty different from the movie, but still a powerful vision of the South in the Civil War. Scarlett has more than one child in the book, and her relationship with Rhett is explored a bit more than the famous staircase scene of the movie. It’s impossible to read without picturing Clark and Vivien.
jane eyrewuthering heightsAnother brooding hero stars in Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and readers will easily imagine Heathcliff brooding upon the moors suffering his love over his adopted sister Catherine. Emily’s sister Charlotte’s classic Jane Eyre echoes the theme of thwarted love and secrets. Many compare Heathcliff to Jane Eyre’s Mr. Rochester’s surly manner, and the likeness is there, though Heathcliff’s story is darker with his promises of revenge. Why are these men so romantic? No reader will question it – they just are. Fans of the Bronte classics should also try Anne Bronte’s works for a fun comparison.
rebeccaFewer supporting characters are as memorable or sinister as Mrs. Danvers in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca as the housekeeper making life miserable for the second Mrs. Maxim de Winter. The first wife’s presence is never far away while the heroine learns the house’s secrets and the truth about her husband. A surprise at the end will stay with readers.
senseLots of readers find Pride and Prejudice as Austen’s best romance (and of course we all love to watch Colin Firth in that televised version) but Sense and Sensibility has the same strong sisterly bond between Marianne and Elinor as Jane and Elizabeth. Marianne’s love for the wrong man and then for the right man is as strong a story line as Elinor’s suffering heart.
brideshead revisitedThe BBC mini series of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited made Jeremy Irons a star, but the intricate relationships among the wealthy British set between the World Wars are equally memorable. Charles Ryder explores his admiring feelings for first Lord Sebastian Flyte then his sister Julia as the family finds their social standing among the elite shifting in a rapidly changing country. Waugh infuses his trademark wry humor into every page.
their eyesIn 1930, Zora Neale Hurston, who would have had a birthday this week (1/7), wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God and three other novels before fading into obscurity and dying a pauper in the 1960’s. Today her work, and especially this passion filled novel about Janie and her experiences with different men in her life, is seen as among the most important of the 20th century. This is written in dialect, and readers may also enjoy the audio version ready by Ruby Dee.


What are some more modern classics? What books are read over and over in your collection?

Bio:Amy Alessio has enjoyed the advice of teens for over seventeen years in her work as a librarian at the Schaumburg Twp. Library in Illinois. Her first young adult mystery, Taking the High Ground, was published by 4RV Publishing. She wrote Mind Bending Mysterious Services for Teens (ALA Editions, 2013) and co-authored A Year of Programs for Teens 2 with Kim Patton. She is the 2013 Illinois Library Association Young Adult Librarian Award Winner and the Northern Illinois RWA 2013 Librarian of the Year. Information on her blog and presentations on vintage crafts and cookbooks as well as readers advisory topics can be found at

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Reader Roundup with Amy Alessio


2 Responses to “Reader Roundup – Classic Romance Stories with Amy Alessio”

  1. Morning Amy!

    I am one of those rare people who have never read or watched Gone with the Wind. I finally bought the movie, just haven’t had time to watch it!

    I’ll also add in that I’ve finished my first book of 2014 – 296 pages. I’m on a roll!


    Posted by Carrie Spencer | January 11, 2014, 10:32 am
  2. Sorry I’m late! Of these books, my favorites are JANE EYRE and BRIDESHEAD REVISTED. And even though I’m not a huge Austen fan, I did like PRIDE AND PREJUDICE a lot.

    My daughter loved WUTHERING HEIGHTS, but I never could get into it.

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | January 13, 2014, 12:05 am

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