I am so tired of love stories that don't end with "happily ever after". I know that everyone says that's something made up by Disney, it never happens, blah, blah, blah . . . but if we all know it's not realistic and it's not going to happen to us, what's the harm in reading about it?
This summer I finally read Gone With the Wind. I know, it's so weird that I had never read it before. In fact, maybe I have and I just forget? No matter. The point is, I LOVED it. It was a wonderful book. It pulled me in and I couldn't put it down. I haven't had that sort of relationship with a new book in a very long time. It was wonderful. I tried to read as slow as I could so that the feeling could last.
***don't read further if you plan to read this book***
Although Scarlett's life was full of disappointed love and fruitless marriages, I remained convinced that in the end all would work out and she would live happily ever after. After all, Gone with the Wind is known for being a wonderful epic romance. But in the end, Scarlett is left ALONE. She finally realizes she's in love Rhett, after he no longer gives "a damn". I know it's supposed to end upliftingly with the last lines "After all, tomorrow is another day." but that's not the point! It's supposed to be a romance. No one cares that Scarlett is going to be able to live her life alone, we want her to get together with Rhett! The only thing that kept me reading was the hope that one day she would realize she loved Rhett and they would like happily ever after!
After this disappointment with Margaret Mitchell, I finished up my summer reading with a string of sci-fi/fantasy novels. If the author throws any romance into those, you always know it's going to work out.
After a few months, I decided to give romance another try with Forever Amber. Published 8 years after Gone With the Wind, it was not quite as gripping, but still highly entertaining and followed a similar pattern. Girl is young and falls in love with man. Convinces herself she's in love with him, and spend rest of book trying to be with him. Not remembering my past disappointment, I read on, concluding that in the end, Amber would end up with Bruce. But it never happened. Not only did the book not bring Amber and Bruce into the realm of happily ever after, I got the feeling that the book never actually ended! It's as if Kathleen Winsor simply got tired of writing so she stopped.
Well, enough ranting and raving. I actually would recommend both those novels highly. Just not to anyone looking for romance in their lives.