I know. I know.
I have this friend. We got to throwing around recommendations for reads and TV shows, and she adorably curls her lip and says, “Romance. You and your romance novels. I just don’t get it.” I smile patiently, and say, “I know.”
It’s not the first or last time that conversation has or will happen. Romance is heavily a female phenom. That is an indisputable fact, however, there’s no end to the diss it gets from publishing and reviewing circles. The common conception is that if it’s romance, it’s lowbrow entertainment. It can be. I won’t lie.
BUT, It really doesn’t have to be. Where fiction titles break down story, romance breaks down people to their basic parts. It takes people down to the minimum that they are, hollows them out and lets us look inside to witness the joy and horror that comes with loving another person. There is some serious value to that for a reader. Read enough of them and one becomes very informed on the human race.
Romance, to me, is nothing more than a record of our deepest hopes and dreams, that very human need to belong to someone. The need for family connection drives the story in a romance or we wouldn’t be reading it. We’re all just looking for a place to call home. As with any book, romance can contain theme and expose wrongdoing. if we let it. Romance, done well, can make us explore inner landscapes we never thought to see. It’s a window into other lives.
If you ask me, it’s a window we don’t clean often enough. I think we all prefer. at times. to not see ourselves in the reflection there. But, if we do take the time to wipe off that window, and look out of it, we see our potential for goodness. That’s the draw.
We see so much inhumanity to man that loving kindness is a welcome change. Also, you can find some pretty stellar prose from a few of the best romance authors. Some of them featured in my reviews page on this blog.