Love & Marriage

  1. Pride and Prejudice
    by Jane Austen

    Elizabeth Bennett overcomes her prejudice and Mr. Darcy overcomes his pride.  The most engaging Austen novel and the most feisty Austen heroine. Opening paragraph:  It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Quotes from critics: “The greatest artist that has ever written” (George Eliot); “Miss Austen understood the smallness of life to perfection. She was a great artist, equal in her small sphere to Shakespeare.” 

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  2. Beginner’s Greek
    by James Collins

    Sweet contemporary treatment of romance and fate. Full of improbable coincidences, but Delightful nonetheless. Opening lines: When Peter Russell boarded an airplane, he always wondered whether he would sit next to a beautiful young woman during the flight, and, if so, whether he and she would fall in love. This time was no different, except for his conviction that —this time—it really would happen. Of course, he always believed more than ever that this time it really would happen.

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  3. Happy All the Time
    by Laurie Colwin

    This delightful comedy of manners and morals is about romantic friendship, romantic marriage, and romantic love—about four people who are good-hearted and sane, lucky and gifted, and who find one another. Opening lines:  Guido Morris and Vincent Cardworthy were third cousins.  No one remembered which Morris had married which Cardworthy, and no one cared except at large family gatherings when this topic was introduced and subjected the benign opinions of all. Quotes from critics:  “Colwin writes with such sunny skill

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  4. The Grand Sophy
    by Georgette Heyer

    Lady Ombersley’s niece sweeps into town and sets everything right for her aunt’s family. Opening line:  The butler, recognizing her ladyship’s only surviving brother at a glance, as he afterward informed less percipient subordinates, favoured Sir Horace with a low bow, and took it upon himself to say that my lady, although not at home to less nearly-connected persons, would be happy to see him. Quotes from critics:  “Stylish, witty, and bang up to the mark!” (Punch);
 “Georgette Heyer is

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  5. The Family Man
    by Elinor Lipman

    When Henry Archer agrees to assist the adored step-daughter he hasn’t seen in years jump-start her career, he finds himself dealing with the intrusion of his ex-wife into his well-ordered life.  Opening paragraph:  Henry Archer did not attend his ex-wife’s husband’s funeral, but he did send a note of condolence.  The former Denise Archer wrote back immediately and urgently:  Would he believe, after twenty-four reasonably happy years, that life as she knew it had been snatched out from under her? 

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  6. Us
    by David Nicholls

    A laugh-out-loud, sometimes sad, story of a mild-mannered scientist, his artistic wife, and rebellious adolescent son – and a 25-year-old marriage in trouble.  Early paragraphs:       “Everything’s fine,” I said. “Probably just some air in the water pipes.”      “What are you talking about?” said Connie, sitting up now.       “It’s fine. No sign of burglars.”       “I didn’t say anything about burglars. I said I think our marriage has run its course. Douglas, I think I want to

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  7. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
    by Helen Simonson

    Honorable, decorous, and endearing, retired Major Pettigrew lives in a small English town, pursuing happiness in the face of culture and tradition. Opening lines:  Major Pettigrew was still upset about the phone call from his brother’s wife and so he answered the doorbell without thinking.  On the damp bricks of the path stood Mrs. Ali from the village shop.  She gave only the faintest of starts, the merest arch of an eyebrow.  A quick rush of embarrassment flooded to the Major’s

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  8. The Rosie Project
    by Graeme Simsion

    An endearing romance between a pleasant but socially-challenged man narrator and his polar opposite. Opening paragraph:  I may have found a solution to the Wife Problem.  As with so man scientific breakthroughs, the answer was obvious in retrospect.  But had it not been for a series of unscheduled events, it is unlikely I would have discovered it. Quotes from critics:  “Charming, funny and heartwarming, a gem of a book” (author Marian Keyes); “An upbeat, quirky, impertinent gem of a read”

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