Show some love…for those you love….. by SJV
In 1982 I won a prize at school for a project on (Police). I have absolutely no recollection as to what the project actually consisted of, but I do remember that a friend of my Dad arranged, without any thought at all for the health and safety implications, for me to spend a day at the Police Dog Handler college in Hendon to help me complete it… like the 70’s, the 80’s were a total hoot!
Details and dogs aside, what I also remember of the Winter Term 1982/83 Project was the prize. A book. Not the first book I’d won at school, but certainly a book that some might consider somewhat inappropriate for a 12 year old child…
It’s a collection of love letters, written by grown-up sweethearts of yesteryear to their grown-up valentines of yesteryear. See? Not quite Harry Potter or The Chronicles of Narnia is it?
After the Famous Five with their lashings of ginger beer and Charlotte with her web of cryptic messages, it was certainly….different… and, I would say, almost holy responsible for setting me up for a lifetime of love letter envy. Move over Carrie Bradshaw, I was wishing for a love telex from Boy George aged 12, way before she wished for more than a love email from Big aged 36.
And furthermore I would say that that book was pretty much responsible for the beginnings of my love affair with love stories. 35 years later and I’m still in love with written expressions of love. Not the stiff Victorian upper lip love displayed in Sweethearts & Valentines, or, as some call them, the Classics – Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Doctor Zhivago et al – but with the raw, powerful, all-consuming love written about by my favourite modern day authors.
From the heart-breaking The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes to the magnificent and challenging Together by Julie Cohen, there are some truly beautiful, surprising, heart-breaking, tragic and passionate novels on the shelves of your favourite bookshop right now – guaranteed to make you cry, make you laugh, make you feel… and surely, this Valentine’s week is the perfect opportunity to show some love for those you love, with a book.
Later on this morning on Twitter, I’ll be running a special Valentine’s TBR #WIN – featuring just a handful of my own personal favourite @TeamBATC love stories – but I’d love to hear your recommendations for your favourite love stories written by our authors – so do get in touch, and I’ll feature them all on here on Valentine’s Day itself.