I was an English major in college. I read a lot of fancy books, and a lot of wonderful ones too, most of them as required reading, but my guilty pleasure has always been romance. In the great long ago, I found a Barbara Cortland novel hidden in my older sister’s room, and was hooked from the start. What’s not to love about a handsome hero, a heroine he comes to adore, a gorgeous estate in the English countryside, and enough drama to keep you on the edge of your seat?
But I will admit that occasionally, I’m embarrassed by the fact that I read romance books almost exclusively. Once or twice a year, I’ll tackle an enormous non-fiction book about Lincoln, or a classic by Faulkner, or even the latest Pulitzer prize winner, just to see if my brain can still tackle that kind of complexity.
But the instant I’m done, I go back to what I love, and I’ve often asked myself why. I consider myself to be a reasonably functioning and responsible adult. I like intellectual challenges. I know that we don’t all have happy endings.
But is there anything wrong with wishing that we did? The wonderful thing about romance books is that in them, love always wins. Seemingly insurmountable challenges are always overcome. And two people get to face the world together, instead of going it alone. It’s what I’d wish for everyone.
A happy ending. I’ll take it every time.
That and an English estate.