My top ten list:
3. TUCK EVERLASTING
4. JONATHAN STRANGE & MR. NORRELL
6. BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA
7. THE AGE OF INNOCENCE
9. THE GOLDEN BOWL
10. DANGEROUS LIASONS
The above is most definitely ordered by from best to less-best. TUCK EVERLASTING guts me with more grace and efficiency than THE GOLDEN BOWL.
With the exceptions of MIDDLEMARCH and (debatably) THE GOLDEN BOWL, none of these love stories have a happy ending. They elaborate in very different ways on Tennyson’s (slightly annoying) declaration, “Better to have loved and lost than never loved at all.”
I don’t enjoy watching movies or listening to music that make me sad, but damn it if I don’t fall for the tragic love story in a novel every time. Does anyone read love stories that end happily? I suppose that’s what romance novels are for, and more power to them.
For the ultimate list, check out The Guardian’s amazing compilation of 1,000 novels about love.