Wednesday, February 1, 2023

10 thrilling romance novels to get away from it all

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Failing to be able to turn the pages by the sea, elbows resting on the warm sand, we trust these beautiful novels to take us away from here and awaken the blue flower, even disavowed, which lies dormant in us. If you’re looking for us, we’ll be with Solal the Magnificent in Chapter 21…


Unreason, by Agnès Martin-Lugand (Ed. Michel Lafon)

As usual, the French author presents to us the touching characters who imposed themselves on her before starting her manuscript. And as usual, she leaves us upset. In this highly anticipated tenth novel, the protagonists are named Madeleine and Joshua, bound by an excessive love. If death awaits the first, suffering from a fatal illness, it snubs the second, struggling with many demons. With a liberated, sharper pen, Agnès Martin-Lugand tackles difficult themes without euphemisms, while infusing them with a moving dose of serenity and gentleness. Hang on, you’re gonna need some tissues.

Those who wanted to see the sea , by Clarisse Sabard (Ed. Charleston)

Just the pitch is enough to make us tear up… Fans of Never Forget , this beautiful story published in March 2019 (and available in Pocket format for a few weeks) should move you a lot. We meet the persevering Aurore, an elderly lady who sits on the same bench every day and gazes at the horizon in silence. When Lilou, a young single mother, asks her why, Aurore replies that she is waiting for her great love, Albert, whom the war took from her 65 years ago. But nothing can make her lose hope of finding him one day.

Postscript , by Cecilia Ahern (Ed. Hauteville)

How to skip the long-awaited sequel to the famous PS I love yo u ? Released at the end of 2019, it continues the story of Holly, who managed to rebuild her life after the death of her husband, Gerry. But beware, before rushing into this novel, know that it absolutely does not begin with feel-good chapters. On the contrary… we almost interrupted our reading, so sad is this book! The pen of Cecilia Ahern is however worth the detour, while her endearing characters conquer our hearts at the same time as they break them.

Breaking the frozen sea within us, by Eric Orsenna (Éd. Gallimard)

This is a love story that begins, against all odds, with a separation. The entire story is made up of a very long letter that the protagonist sends to Madame la Juge, Vice-President for matrimonial affairs, who has just pronounced her divorce with Suzanne. In the huge missive, the hero looks back on his story, on the trips made with his ex-wife and on the passion that united them. Poetic and cruelly beautiful.

The Pages of Our Love, by Nicholas Sparks (Ed. Michel Lafon)

It would be unthinkable to compile a list of romantic stories without quoting the contemporary master of the genre, Nicholas Sparks. You probably know the film (by heart) Never Forget , but this touching novel remains a must-see that it would be a shame to miss. It brings new depth and never-before-seen detail to the memories of Noah and Allie, whose story will never be forgotten. A classic.

Time is nothing , by Audrey Niffenegger (Ed. J’ai Lu)

Here is another nugget (one of our favorites) that makes us cry, at the same time as it enchants us. This beautiful novel, adapted to the cinema in 2009 and in the form of a series in May 2022, tells the life of Claire, the wife of a man able to travel in time. If this strange gift allowed them to live a magnificent (timeless) love story, it also represents an incredibly heavy burden for the two heroes to bear. A must read, even if you’ve already seen the movie, Out of Time , starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.

Outlander (Volume 1: The Thistle and the Tartan), by Diana Gabaldon (Ed. J’ai Lu)

Like most successful series, this one is well based on a literary saga. And its brilliant author, Diana Gabaldon, wrote no less than ten volumes! Although the novels are rather thick, this wonderful mix of romance, fantasy and history keeps us in suspense and develops much more the charm of the characters encountered on screen. Do not worry if you know the series well: the books are not likely to tire you. And if you haven’t seen any episodes yet, we only have one piece of advice for you: go for it!

Before you, by Jojo Moyes (Ed. Milady)

The British author certainly has one of the most appreciated and comforting feathers of the moment. Like the stories of Nicholas Sparks, his stories draw their beauty from a fusion of light and sadness that subtly tugs at our most sensitive chords, while lifting our spirits. Draw without fear from his bibliography, we are not ashamed to tell you that we have devoured all of his novels: and they are absolutely worth it!

Belle du Seigneur , by Albert Cohen (Éd. Gallimard)

To describe the masterpiece of the brilliant Swiss author, one could not find a better term than “monument”: it possesses its beauty, but also its size! This heavy block (published in 1968) is very impressive, especially when you are about to open it for the first time. But over these hundreds of finely written pages, it undoubtedly contains one of the most beautiful love stories in French-language literature. The famous characters of Solal and Ariane live their cursed passion there, while the author reveals their thoughts with disturbing verve. You feel like you’re inside their heads, and that’s what makes the story so unique.

The Last of Ours , by Adelaide de Clermont-Tonnerre (Ed. Grasset)

The editor-in-chief of the French magazine Point de Vue is also a very talented novelist. In this second book, she offers a skilful crossover between present and past, presenting us with a charismatic protagonist whose dramatic childhood, shattered by the Second World War, ends up catching up with him, when he is convinced to have found the woman of his life. A historical tragedy, an impossible love… and an ending that leaves us completely delighted!

The Night of Time , by René Barjavel (Ed. Pocket)

This magnificent science fiction novel takes us to the heart of Antarctica, where French scientists discover a strange signal, emanating from the icy depths. They then pull out a golden egg in which there is a sleeping woman. Her name is Eléa and she is the last survivor of a civilization destroyed hundreds of thousands of years ago. After resuscitating her, they listen to her heartbreaking tale and uncover a tragic love story. (We cry every time, but it’s really sublime).

One Day , by David Nicholls (Ed. Belfond)

This famous romance is set in 1980s England and introduces us to Emma and Dexter, two completely different characters. However, between them, it is love at first sight. If their destinies don’t converge right away, they won’t stop looking for each other and losing sight of each other, before doing everything to find each other. As much to say to you that they do not leave us the least second of beat; it is very difficult to put this novel down once you have opened it!

Focus on audiobooks

More trendy than ever, audiobooks are very easy to find on the Internet. The Audible platform (by Amazon) has an extensive catalog.

Rakuten Kobo also offers ebooks and audiobooks at great prices, as does Audiolib. Some bookstores, like Payot, also offer digital reading. For lovers of the great classics, Littérature Audio provides more than 6,000 titles for free, to download in MP3.

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