Sunday, August 20, 2017

Forbidden Love

I’m going to serial blog on various themes so popular in romance and fiction. The themes that tug at our hearts and keep the pages turning are what good books are made of.

When you hear forbidden love, do you think of Father Ralph and Meggie from Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds? Or two lovers separated by family, faith, social status, or ethnicity? Romeo and Juliet come to mind. Jane Eyre had her fill of an unsuitable suitor pursuing her when he was already married (granted, Mrs. R was insane, but still – Jane’s conscience would not allow her to be with Mr. Rochester until he was free). Even Mr. Darcy had some apprehension about aligning himself with Elizabeth due to her crazy family and lower social status. Anna Karenina was unable to break away from her husband due to his threat of keeping her from her children.

In books we can have shapeshifters fall in love with humans against their group’s rules, or otherworldly characters who must change forever in order to be with the one they love. Think of Ariel in The Little Mermaid, or even the Beast in the timeless classic. Twilight’s angst-ridden vampires and werewolves risked everything for normal teen love. Forbidden love, in all its forms, is exciting, heartbreaking, romantic, and often a key theme in books and movies. Whether the would-be lovers finally reach their happy ending or the reader is dragged to the depths of emotional hell with them is what makes the journey all that more special. The bittersweet separation, the heartfelt goodbyes and ultimate reconciliation are what make this theme so intriguing and timeless.

What are your favorite tales dealing with forbidden love?