#RomanceWeek begins today, February 6 and runs through Valentine’s Day, February 14. My bookseller company, IPG, posed this question to me, and I want to know what YOU would answer:
Who is your favorite couple in literature and why?
That would have to be preppie Oliver and Jennifer, the young college lovers from Love Story by Erich Segal. They were the first fictional couple I would consider contemporary, because the novel was released – wait for it – February 24, 1970, which just so happened to be my last semester of my senior year in high school. I had read Gone with the Wind when I was 15, and was enchanted with that love story. But this new book had all the elements the 17-year-old me found fascinating – wealthy Oliver Barrett IV meets not very wealthy Jennifer Cavilleri and their story together was one of love, anti-establishment, love, raw attraction, love, independence, love, sacrifice, love, laughter, love, sadness, and oh! Did I mention love? Romance was on every page, from Ollie missing a swing at the puck during an ice hockey game because Jenny distracted him to Jenny’s loving teasing about him not being the very top of his graduating class, and of course, the very loving, very sad ending. These two characters, and indeed, even the book, can seem a bit cheesy compared to say Scarlett and Rhett, Anne Shirley and her Gilbert, and of course all the English heroines and their loves, but it made an impression on the teen-aged me. And when I grew up and married my high school sweetheart, I experienced my own love story: love, laughter, love, sacrifice, love, and, unfortunately, a very similar sadness.
And now I’m in my own sequel in Life and Love. And for two old people, we are living proof there is always a Love Story!