We’ve all heard of Romeo and Juliet, but their story is just one of many tragic tales of love and loss. Try one of these titles from JMRL if you’re looking for another pair of star-crossed lovers to keep you company on Valentine’s Day:
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter – Follows a young Italian innkeeper and his almost-love affair with a beautiful American starlet, which draws him into a glittering world filled with unforgettable characters.
Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler – Follows the experiences of hairdresser and African-American single mom Dorrie, who while struggling with difficult family dynamics reluctantly agrees to drive an octogenarian client to a funeral several states away.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes – Taking a job as an assistant to extreme sports enthusiast Will, who is wheelchair bound after a motorcycle accident, Louisa struggles with her employer’s acerbic moods and learns of his shocking plans before demonstrating to him that life is still worth living.
The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill – Two orphaned soulmates, one a piano prodigy, the other a dancing savant, dream up a plan for the most extraordinary circus show the world has ever seen against a backdrop of the Great Depression.
One Day by David Nicholls – Falling in love on the eve of their 1988 college graduations, Dexter and Emma embark on a heady relationship marked throughout subsequent decades by their disparate personalities, conflicts and misconceptions, in a tale told on the anniversaries of the day they met.
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee – Hired by the wealthy Chen family as a piano instructor, Claire Pendleton is seduced by the social life of Hong Kong’s expatriate community and begins an affair with Will Truesdale, an enigmatic Englishman with a devastating past.
The Rocks by Peter Nichols – A tale set around a popular Mediterranean seaside resort follows the story of two honeymooners who abruptly split in 1948 and live separately for decades until children from their rivaling families fall in love.
Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish – Focuses on the relationship between an undocumented Chinese immigrant and a wayward Iraqi war veteran as they navigate their way through the underbelly of New York.