With pollen and hayfever on the rise to remind us all that we're leaving winter behind, Spring is a time for romantic reads as well as allergies. If you’re in the mood to curl up with a book that’s warm, romantic and — above all — human, here’s a few staff selections that may provide a jumping-off point.
The Comet Seekers by Helen Sedgwick, 2016
We’re all familiar with ‘star-crossed’ lovers, but what about those linked by comets? Each chapter of The Comet Seekers allows us glimpses into the lives of Róisín and François — but only during windows of time when a comet is visible in the sky.
Over the course of the book, which weaves in notes of fantasy and magical realism… as well as ghosts... readers see all the ways in which these two are linked and, perhaps, have their fate written in the stars.
Happiness for Humans by P.Z Reizin, 2018
"You, Tom and Jen, don't know one another-not yet-but I think you should." This is the opening line from someone claiming to be a mutual friend, which starts two people living on different continents on a romantic collision course. The twist that this mysterious mutual friend is, in fact, an Artificial Intelligence, shouldn’t deter those who aren’t traditionally fans of Sci-Fi from checking this one out—just as much comedy as romance, this book is fun, charming and original.
If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane, Mhairi, 2020
A fake romance that blossoms into something real. We’ve all been there, read that and seen the Netflix adaptation — but where If I Never Met You shines is in the depiction of Laurie, the main protagonist, and the book’s use of a well-worn romantic trope as fuel for her characterisation and a dramatic, sarcastically funny character arc. The book’s exploration of the importance of friendships as we navigate love is just another reason this book comes highly recommended.
The Stationery Shop of Tehran by Marjan Kamali, 2019
The Stationery Shop takes place in two periods (1953 and 2013) and offers a beautifully written depiction of life in Tehran, Iran during a time of intense political upheaval, as well as a sweet, if occasionally sad, romance. This one isn’t for anyone looking for a lighter read, but if you like your fiction on the raw and emotional side leading up to a tremendous emotional payoff — or perhaps if you enjoyed Sally Rooney’s Normal People — this is well worth a look.