All-time greatest doomed romances
Doomed romances make great fiction. They take the story out of the realm of happy-ever-after-fairy tale and into real life. There’s always a place for ‘Reader I married him’, but the romances we remember are the ones that didn’t work out. That’s what keeps us reading. Even though we know it’s going to end badly, there’s that hope against hope that it will be fine in the end. It never is, of course, and that’s when we wipe a tear away. Relationships that move us deeply stay in the memory.
I never write straight Romance, but in all my books my characters develop significant relationships of one kind or another. In This Is Not Forgiveness, I wanted the main character, Jamie, to fall head over heels for a girl who is drop dead gorgeous but will cause him nothing but trouble. At first, he can’t believe his luck that’s she’s even noticed him, let alone consented to go out with him, so when she tells him that she ‘doesn’t do love’, he doesn’t believe her. It is not until he is too far in to go back that he realizes what a price he will have to pay. With Caro, I wanted to see if the experience of being with a boy like Jamie could change her mind.
As for my Doomed Romances…
Cathy and Heathcliff – Wuthering Heights for a romance that transcends space and time.
Romeo and Juliet – for that hope against hope I get every time I see the play that this time things will work out differently.
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind. Made for each other, clearly, but it is not to be.
Tess and Angel Clare – Tess of The D’Urbervilles – because Tess is such a great character and deserves better, much better, than she gets from life or from Angel Clare and, again, I get this ‘what if’ feeling every time I read it that this time things will work out fine.
Kit and Holly in Terence Malick’s Badlands. The classic folie à deux – a madness shared by two people that puts them outside normal society. No matter how bad the things are that they do together, you kind of want them to get away with it, but know that is not going to happen.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde - for the same reason.
Thanks so much to Celia for such an interesting post. This Is Not Forgiveness is published by Bloomsbury on 2nd February. For my review and to win a signed copy (UK only), go here!