Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February 12, Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s TTT topic is Favorite Couples In Books

1. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

       This book has many important themes: in a larger political sense, it is about oppression and persecution, and in a moral sense, it is about courage, devotion, and the power of love. The idea is: once true love is betrayed (even if the reasons were to save the beloved one) it is difficult to gain it back. Both have to go through many ordeals to prove that they are worth to be re-united again. But when they do meet all the challenges and unite in their love they will be granted the upper happiness. It sounds a little cheesy, but the execution of the love theme in this book is just superb. This is the picture of ideal love: all-forgiving, sacrificial and enduring.

2. Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

      This is one of my most favorite couples. They are so funny and genuine. I mostly base my liking on the movie. I like how their romance is shown, there is no kisses (just the last one), no obvious hints, everything is executed so purely and nicely, but at the same time you can feel the tension and passion and open sexuality between those two. It is also so romantic because it focuses on how he loves her despite, or perhaps because of, her embarrassing flaws and hilarious antics, mostly because Bridget is hilarious, relatable, and so genuine.

3. Meggie and Ralph from The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough.

     I cannot say that this is the ideal couple in the romantic sense. But the relationship between Meggie and Ralf can be called true love as it affected their life paths and ripped their souls apart. This story is an example of when finding true love is not enough; then this pure feeling can be tread down by vanity, ambition, insult and betrayal.

4. Feride and Kamran from Çalıkuşu (The Wren) by Reşat Nuri Güntekin

       For those who did not read this beautiful historical fictional love novel here is the story:
The events in the novel take place in the early twentieth century, near the creation of the Turkish republic. Most of the novel is recounted in first-person diary format by Feride. Feride is the orphaned daughter of an army officer. As a teenager, she attends Lycee Notre Dame de Sion in the winter, and stays with one of her late mother's sisters during the summer holidays.
      She gets engaged to her charming cousin, Kamran, whom she leaves the night before their wedding, upon discovering that he has been unfaithful to her. She runs away from home to become a teacher in Anatolia, although she remains desperately in love with Kamran.
    The rest I cannot tell as it will be full of spoilers, but I should say this is not about the power of mutual love, but the force of love that this tiny girl has endured, the force that kept her going and not give in, not to break down and yield. How she developed as a person, but always kept true to her feelings towards Kamran. How this love was simultaneously destroying and rebuilding her. We do not know anything about the depth of his feelings, but it is enough to know hers to fill this book with purity and hope.

5. Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

     This is no surprise for Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler and be in this list. Though their relationship cannot be called idealistic or romantic, I believe those two strong personalities and made for each other.   

6. Captain Blood and Arabella Bishop from Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini

      I just admire how the love theme is executed in  this novel. You will not read about any passionate dialogues, witty confrontations and ardent glances. Instead, you will find two people drawn apart by circumstances. How a niece of a plantation owner can show any sympathy to a slave? How a slave ever dares to count on true lady's affection? Even when he is not slave anymore, he is just a cursed outlaw, a pirate and thus he will never be able to gain the heart of a woman he ever loved. In this book love theme is not the primary one, but it is perceptible in every decision Captain Blood does. This is the story of all-forgiving and enduring passion, that overcomes not only physical, but also moral obstacles, time and distance.

7. Petruchio and Katherina from The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

       I cannot tell you why, but I just love those two from my childhood. Of couse looking at this couple from an adult point of view I can see that this relationship far from ideal, I would even can call it abusive. But what you I can do? Just love their hate-to-love story development.

8.  Christine and Raoul from The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

       These two are just so sweet and adorable. A bad, bad Phantom of the Opera dared to love and want Christine and steals her in his chambers. And young and passionate, but rather useless Viconte de Chagny is trying to save his beloved from the nets of an ugly monster. Beautiful story, much deeper of cause, and everything is not so easy with the "monster" but still Christine and Raoul are so sweet in their young and passionate love.

9. Maria Bolkonskaya and Nikolai Rostov from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

      If you ask any Russian who is the greatest couple of all time, you would probably in 80% get the answer: Pierre Bezukhov and Natasha Rostova or Andrei Bolkonsky and Natasha Rostova from War and Peace. It turned out that Natasha Rostova was the favorite character of Leo Tolstoy. He put a lot of effort in the development of her character, and since this was his ideal of a woman he gave her 2 best male representatives to love. Those love stories are really worth reading about. This is not some fluffy infatuation, but serious speculation on relationship, family, responsibility and duty.
       But if you ask me, I will tell you there is nothing more lovely than the relationship between Maria Bolkonskaya and Nikolai Rostov. The development of this love story is superb. They meet during the war and that does not contribute to the romantic involvement. She is a plain and humble girl, he is a rarely handsome and successful officer; there is no way she can attract him; but then something unbelievable happens (actually the dream of every girl comes true) this beautiful and prominent man falls in love with Maria and not due to her appearance but her character. He saw the beauty of her soul and fell for it. That is so enchanting to read how he comes to realization that there is so much more behind the unattractive shell, which can inspire and empower.
10. Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen  

      I guess I just like quiet and constrained love stories. I cannot feel enough for Elinor suffering when she went through all the ordeal of love without perspective and all the obstacles in her way, and how she managed to pull herself together and be civil and smile and socialize.


  1. Bridget and Mark are fun. :) And Scarlett and Rhett- nice pick. Totally made for each other!

  2. Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy was fun. It's been YEARS since I read that book.

  3. Yes, Rhett and Scarlett definitely did know how to handle each other's strong personalities.

    This is my Top Ten Tuesday post.

  4. I agree with you on Scarlet and Rhett - I have the distinct feeling no one else could have ever handled the other. Hahaha.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday. Thank you!

  5. You have three of my favorites on your list: Meggie and Ralph, Elinor and Edward, and of course, Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy. Great choices! :)

  6. ah yes, #8 of course! MY favorite would be Tengo and Aomame in 1Q84 by Murakami

    1. I have not read this one, but it is on my radar))

  7. Have to read War and Peace someday. Maybe in Russian if I want the ultimate challenge, LOL. But I'd have to get better at French too.

    I'm not too familiar with the couples except for Scarlett and Rhett. I'm not sure about them.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. And German, there are passages in German as well))

  8. Elinor and Ferrars were a great pick!