I know that some people hate Valentine’s Day, and this list is for you. A list of books about doomed love, some weepy, some cruel, some just plain brilliant. Not quite Valentine’s Schadenfreude, these will leave you heartbroken. However, they serve as a reminder that while the course of true love never did run smooth, if does come along, you might just want to run in the opposite direction.
After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell
One day Alice walks out in front of a car, she is not killed but lies in a coma. Disjointed narratives tell a story of love, loss and family secrets. A seriously heartbreaking read.
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
You play. You win. You play. You lose. You play.
Against the backdrop of the Napoleonic wars, a naive soldier Henri and a streetwise young woman Villanelle learn about the destructive and regenerative powers of passion, when nothing is as it seems and what you risk reveals what you value.
The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood
Jessamine has grown up knowing that the most innocuous looking plant can have the power to heal or kill. When a mysterious young man arrives to live with Jessamine and her father, little do they suspect that these sinister plants have their own plans for the couple, and that obsession and love when misused can be fatal.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Many people grow up believing that love is fate, love is their destiny. Kathy and Tommy have grown up knowing something different, but hoping that love will be enough to save them.
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
The five beautiful and mysterious Lisbon sisters capture the hearts and imaginations of the neighbourhood boys. Twenty years after each of the girls committed suicide, as grown men the same boys reconstruct from relics and memory, the story of the tragic girls who shaped their early romantic ideals and coloured their desires.