“A treat for any book lover, happily mated or cheerfully single” (USA TODAY)—two popular journalists give hilarious relationship advice borrowed from the most famous characters in literature.
Finding love should be easier than ever before, given all the freedoms we enjoy. But as it turns out, the more options we have, the more difficult attaining romantic bliss becomes. We wonder: Should we put all our energy into online dating, or hang out in bars to find someone new? Should we settle for a friendship-with-benefits, or refuse to stop looking until we happen upon true love? And if we do manage to achieve the impossible and find a perfect match—soul mate, sexual dynamo, and best buddy all in one—how can we beat the relationship doldrums when they come, as they’re bound to in this hyperactive society?
In our quest to reach romantic nirvana, we turn to self-help manuals, magazines, talk shows, friends, relatives, and shrinks. But we’ve overlooked the true font of wisdom: the timeless stories written by great novelists. That’s where Much Ado About Loving comes in. In its pages, two book lovers who are also advice columnists—Maura Kelly and Jack Murnighan—relay the lessons in life and love that they’ve learned from reading more classic novels than your English teacher, while having far more romantic conundrums than all of Jane Austen’s characters combined. They’ve done the heavy reading—and the recovering from heartbreak—for you.
Now all you need is this book.
Murnighan (Beowulf on the Beach) and freelancer Kelly share tales about their own romantic messes alongside wisdom they've gleaned from favorite classics. The Bell Jar teaches us to own up to our intimacy issues before seeking love; Madame Bovary shows that cheating isn't justified when it's the easy way out of an unsatisfactory relationship. Although the essays ramble and Kelly's voice grows irritating, this is a clever, amusing hybrid of lit crit and relationship advice.