|Photos courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt & Nova Ren Suma|
To get you into the Valentine’s Day mood, we’ve asked some of our favorite young adult authors for their help! We asked two questions:
What is your favorite romantic scene from a novel? Why has it stayed with you?
The answers we received were surprising and touching, and provide a little glimpse into each writer’s reading world. Books are often an emotional experience, after all, and through them we often see our own breathless dreams and longings and aspirations reflected. Fair warning that each day features a scene that probably contains some spoilers, so you may want to skip them if you haven’t read the book and plan to do so soon.
There’s no better person to start off our series than Nova Ren Suma, the author of one of my favorite books published last year: Imaginary Girls! Without further ado, here is
Nova Ren Suma’s Favorite Romantic Book Scene:
In trying to come up with an answer for this question, I discovered something twisted about myself: I don’t seem to enjoy happily-ever-romance in stories—at least, my most-loved novels are utterly lacking in this, and I seem especially attracted to sad endings.
But then I remembered there was one scene in a book I once read that I found terribly romantic, and I’m going to tell you what it is even though it’s an embarrassing one since it is just…so…obvious.
Anyone read The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger? So I’m talking about the tiny scene at the very end of the book—spoiler if you haven’t read it—a scene told from two perspectives: Henry has time-traveled into a far future he doesn’t recognize, and he sees an old woman at a table drinking tea. It takes him a moment to realize it’s his wife, Clare. Then we turn to Clare’s perspective, and there she is, an old woman, sitting at a table drinking tea, many years after Henry has died. But she’s waiting and holding out hope that he will visit one last time… because he once told her he would. So every day she wonders if this is the day he’ll come. The book ends with Clare not knowing that he’s about to appear, but we know because we just saw the scene through Henry’s eyes, and it just slays me. That she’s waiting for him. That they’ll get this one last chance to connect after all those years…
I believe in the fairy-tale idea of a “one true love,” I think because I found mine when I was a teenager and we’re still together. This scene really spoke to me, and I very vividly remember closing the book, tears running down my cheeks, all choked up and desperately needing a tissue, and running into the next room to find E, my boyfriend at the time (now my husband), and going, “I’d wait for youuuuuu!”
And I had a difficult time articulating it, but I remember that scene striking me as the most beautiful and devoted thing. And it was wonderfully sad, too.
Nova Ren Suma is the author of Imaginary Girls (2011) and Dani Noir, which is being reissued as Fade Out for YA shelves in June 2012. Her next YA novel is 17 & Gone, due out from Dutton/Penguin in 2013.She can be found at novaren.com, on her blog distraction99.com, or on Twitter as @novaren, distracting herself endlessly.
Check out the rest of the Literary Swoon series!
Nova Ren Suma, author of Imaginary Girls
Gail Carriger, author of Soulless
Rebecca Lim, author of Mercy
Deborah Cooke, author of Flying Blind
Cynthia Hand, author of Unearthly
Shirley Marr, author of Fury
Lauren Oliver, author of Delirium
Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood
The Midnight Garden Bloggers