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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Early Romances

So I thought I would take today to write about a subject that, for some reason, has come up twice in the last week for me and that would be about early books that I read that were romance novels, even if thats not what we call them.

The first would be a book called Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier. I love this book. My mother gave it to me when I was about 12 years old and I can still remember it...even quote from Now, during my Pilates session (yay pilates) my instructor remarked that her daughter had to read it. I start going off about what it's about. Girl gets married to a near stranger, she's young and naive, is tortured by the housekeeper at her husband's estate, dark secrets, dead wives...

Suddenly I realized. This is a Romance Novel. No way, no how, would we call it anything else today. And yet our children read it in school like it's literature. This got me thinking. Who else could possibly, who is writing right now, be considered that in future generations?

Immediately, I thought of Eloisa James. If you like Romance and you're not reading Eloisa James, you are missing out. She's phenomenal and the truth is I don't read that much historical romance but I never, ever, ever miss her.

Okay. As I pondered this question, I looked at a post that a good friend made on Facebook about the book Forever by Judy Bloom. Wow. It all came rushing back to me. Forever. By Judy Bloom. I remember feeling like I had to hide under my covers to read it because--gasp--there was sex in that book. She's a teenager and she has sex in that book. In fact, if I recall correctly, they actually discuss his private parts at some length.

How on earth did Judy Bloom ever get that published? But the book was, and maybe it still is, a right of passage for adolescent girls. Read that book and suddenly you feel like you know something you shouldn't know, something your parents don't know you're reading. I read Forever the summer I was on a teen tour. We travelled around from amusement park to amusement park and I read Forever at night.

As the mother of 3 boys, I know I won't be sharing my early romances with them. At least, I doubt I will.

What did you read? What were your early romances?

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