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Stories that fly in the face of the happily-ever-after.

Gone are the days of being hitched up to the unmarried lad or lass in the next village. And as sweet as it may be, the classic tale of boy meets girl followed by a period of hand-holding, marriage, children, careers and the rest hardly makes for gripping drama. Often the real story lies in the mechanisms of falling in and out of love, how we keep the flame alive over time and through adversity, or how we deal with loss. Here are some stories that cut to the heart of this complex business, illuminating the intricacies, hilarities, heartbreaks and realities of love.

  • This is a modern love story. It is a story about learning to survive, endure and flourish in a relationship. Above all, it is a story full of tenderness and sympathy for the hard work of keeping love going, and full of hope that we can make it through.

  • An explosive love story about a marriage interrupted.

  • The Break isn't a story about falling in love but about staying in love. It is Marian Keyes at her funniest, wisest and brilliant best.

  • A profoundly moving story of first love and memory from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending

  • Ian McEwan's celebrated novel, now an unmissable film starring Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Brooklyn)

  • 'A stylish tale about a fatal love triangle in provincial Bohemia' Guardian

  • In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.

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