Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl since January of 2018. Jana writes, ‘it was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” In that spirit, link up with your list at That Artsy Reader Girl and comment with your list, link, or thoughts below.
Top 10 Favorite Literary Couples:
I had so much fun composing this list, especially contemplating all of the different reasons why characters can become favorites.
10. Henry & Clare [The Time Traveler’s Wife]
Boundless, unpredictable, filled with longing and dead sexy, but also problematic, disturbing, filled with sacrifice, and tragic: such is the love story of Henry and Clare. I’ve found myself thinking of this mind-bending, time-hopping romance over the years since my only read through a decade ago. If read today, I wonder if I’d still swoon at the thought of Henry returning through time to his love, would I brush-off Clare’s sacrifice of a normal life as easily, as if it were nothing compared to perilous passion? Would my love of this story withstand time’s test? I don’t know, perhaps I’m due for a re-read.
9. Golem & Jinni [The Golem and the Jinni]
When the restless, searching soul of the ancient Jinni and the stoic, lost soul of the newly-formed Golem find each other on a stroll during Manhattan’s turn-of-the-century nocturne, the real magic of The Golem and the Jinni begins. As each others’ lifelines, their relationship grows memorably deeper than many purely ‘human’ couples I can think of depicted in novels.
8. Norman & Jessie [A River Runs Through It and Other Stories]
I know. They’re not burning the world down consumed by their own passion, but as appealing as that may be to read–it’s not what captures a literary favorite to me. Norman and Jessie’s love story begins in late 1920s Montana; it’s supportive, sweet, intellectual and enduring, with it’s fair share of grief. A true love I relate to most in my personal life. Plus, that memorable final line in the short story-ugh, the best. (I’m not crying, you’re crying!)
7. Bridget Jones and her diary [Bridget Jones’s Diary]
I realize at one point, Bridget had 2 men literally fighting over her in the streets, but I honestly don’t remember their names. What I do remember about this clever novel (loooosely based on Pride & Prejudice) are the hilarious, relatable entries Bridge vigorously scribbled in her diary. The journal is always there for her, to commiserate, inspire, track pounds, cigarettes and flubs at work, reflect on changes, and cause near disastrous embarrassment when it’s contents are revealed. Ultimately, the diary becomes a symbol of self-acceptance, illustrating that if all else fails, a girl can always depend on herself.
6. Holmes & Watson [Sherlock Holmes canon]
Sure, Sherlock had dalliances with Irene Adler and Watson’s wife Mary had endless patience, but they will always be the original bromance. Unemotional Sherlock Holmes and awestruck Dr. Watson share decades of companionship filled with mystery, daring, trust, pipe-smoke, good-natured exasperation and the warmest regard for each other’s lives and friendship. Most couples would be so lucky.
5.Glenn & Mags [The Walking Dead, issues 10-100.]
A bit of a cheat because I never got past the first volume of the graphic novel, way too violent and traumatizing. All my fave Glenn and Mags moments derived from the show. But as couples with limited options go, these two brought a rare hope and lightness to the endless slog of dark and evil circumstances encountered in a zombified existence. When their human story ended, so did my viewership, no longer wanting to explore the blackness and bleakness of a world without them. (Tbh, the show was becoming unwatchably lame anyway)
4. Charlotte & Wilbur [Charlotte’s Web]
A couple’s love for each other manifests in many ways, but none more stirring than self-sacrifice. The light of each other’s lives, Wilbur and Charlotte’s tale is one of radiant friendship and humble devotion. I challenge anyone to come up with a more touching literary pair.
3. Cecelia & Marco [The Night Circus]
Trained as competing pawns in someone else’s game, the wistful romance experienced by Cecelia and Marco was the slow-burn variety. An ardent desire to fulfill each other’s dreams led to a love so powerful, it manifested in a circus. Not just any Barnum & Bailey, but the most beautiful, original and dreamiest circus ever conceived, the magical Le Cirque des Reves. One can’t help but fall in love with their love and get swept away.
2. Westley and Buttercup [The Princess Bride]
“He had written to her just before he sailed for America. The Queen’s Pride was his ship, and he loved her. (That was the way his sentences always went: It is raining today and I love you. My cold is better and I love you. Say hello to Horse and I love you. Like that.)”
—The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Proving that a love sparked by adoration and treated with humor and devotion is the stuff, even greater than a fairy tale.
1. Katniss & Peeta [The Hunger Games series]
Say what? An iconic YA couple makes an appearance. Lukewarm love triangle aside (she and Gale were too alike, it would never have worked) when fake love turns real for her, readers get a long-awaited payoff, but we knew the boy with the bread loved her all along.
Who are your favorite swoony couples from literature? Any hate-to-love or love-to-hate twosomes you need to declare? Please share below.
P.S. Wishing you a lovely Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day this week, friends.