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The Romantic

by Barbara Gowdy

This is an absorbing and unusual romance without a traditional happy ending which perfectly captures the all-consuming feelings that young people in love can suffer. Despite the bleakness of the central love affair, this is an enjoyable read because of the warm and witty personality of the main character, Louise, who reflects on her unusual childhood and her efforts to find happiness in the adult world.

Extract

I've grown accustomed to my unpopularity; it makes sense to me. I'm not pretty, I say the wrong things so reliably that whenever I open my mouth a deathly silence falls, I can't dance the Highland fling as can a perplexing number of girls at our school, although I do own the most authentic-looking kilt, the most expensive wardrobe, which, of course, is another offence, a less insufferable one than it was before my mother left, and yet still an ongoing irritant to Maureen Hellier, who, at the sight of me and as the months pass, takes longer and longer to twitch her face into a look of friendliness.

Parallels

The Republic of Love by Carol Shields
  • Amelie- the film
  • Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
     

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