12 Timeless Love Novels to Read in Your Lifetime

Aaaaah, the beautiful love stories, the ones that make us cry, laugh, shiver, dream, escape, and believe in the grand L! What if we (re)read those novels that moved us? Between classics of French and English literature, iconic best-sellers, and heartwarming tales, the Do It Team shares its absolute favorites to have in your library and devour at least once in your lifetime.


Gone with the Wind

While the film with Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable is one of cinema's greatest, we often forget to open Margaret Mitchell's novel it's based on. Set during the Civil War, the love story between the capricious yet charming Scarlett O’Hara and the irreverent Captain Rhett Butler is a must-read in a lifetime.


Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is THE classic of 19th-century English literature! In addition to narrating the tumultuous love story between the enigmatic Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, Emily Brontë's singular novel is primarily a tale of revenge, as poignant as it is cruel. When the antihero Heathcliff (portrayed on screen by Timothy Dalton, Tom Hardy, and Ralph Fiennes) has his beloved taken away, his sole obsession becomes making life unbearable for all his enemies. Gripping and biting!


The Fault in Our Stars

John Green succeeded in getting teens to read with his best-seller, The Fault in Our Stars, recounting the love story between Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers battling cancer. Despite the somewhat depressing premise, this poignant and hopeful novel, which breaks the taboo around illness, will bring tears to your eyes and make you want to watch the inspiring film with Ansel Elgort.



Nathalie and François were a perfect couple until his sudden death. While his widow struggles to cope in isolation, she meets an unlikely and awkward colleague who manages to shake her world. David Foenkinos' best-seller, fittingly titled "Delicacy," adapted into a film with Audrey Tautou and François Damiens, is a literary treat that can be devoured in one evening.


Pride and Prejudice

In 19th-century England, women had to find wealthy husbands to survive. Not an easy task for Mr. and Mrs. Bennet with their five daughters! Funny, intelligent, and romantic, Pride and Prejudice is one of Jane Austen's best novels, revolutionizing the image of women with its strong-willed female characters. Among them, Elizabeth Bennett, the family rebel, is disturbed by the arrival of the proud and wealthy Mr. Darcy in the village. We recommend the superb adaptations of this classic, first as a series with Colin Firth, then as a film with the iconic duo Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen. Still thinking about the ball scene...


The Red and the Black 

Stendhal is said to have drawn inspiration from Jean-Jacques Rousseau's life to create his iconic character, Julien Sorel. In "The Red and the Black", the ambitious tutor becomes the lover of Madame de Rênal before climbing the social ladder in Paris, ultimately falling in love with the daughter of a marquis. The author paints a vivid portrait of an era, acting as a privileged observer of his century's thoughts, while criticizing the behaviors and political opinions of the bourgeoisie. A fascinating story!


Belle du Seigneur

Albert Cohen needed over a hundred chapters to narrate the doomed passion of Solal and Ariane on the eve of World War II. Unhappy in her marriage to Adrien Deume, who works at the League of Nations, the protagonist is seduced by her husband's superior, Solal. Troubles begin... Partly autobiographical, "Belle du Seigneur" is the third volume of the tetralogy consisting of "Solal", "Mangeclous", and "Les Valeureux." A masterpiece of the 20th century!


Letter from an Unknown Woman

I want to speak to you alone, tell everything for the first time; you will know my entire life, which has always belonged to you, and of which you have never known anything”. The famous Viennese novelist R. discovers these words in a letter written by a woman. She loved him madly, but, uncomfortably, he has no recollection. With "Letter from an Unknown Woman", Stefan Zweig tells the torment of unrequited love. A heartbreaking novella.


The Unbearable Lightness of Being

In 1968 Prague, Tomas is torn between his profound love for his wife Tereza and his adulterous relationship with (among others!) the artist Sabine, free as the wind. Driven by the idea that one must live multiple lives in one to truly enjoy them, this eternal indecisive character tries to surrender to fate, embodying the pessimism of an author whose pen raises existential and profoundly modern questions.



In Marseille, it's difficult for the right Fanny not to fall for Marius, torn between his love for her and the irresistible call of the sea. That's the starting point of this three-act play, focusing on the destinies of Marius, Fanny, and César, the devoted father of the sailor. A masterpiece adapted countless times and still as vibrant, to be read while imagining the melodious accent of these colorful characters.


The Blue Bicycle

The success of the "Blue Bicycle" saga largely lies in the passionate love story between the stunning Léa Delmas and the (very) charming François Tavernier. Follow them through their extraordinary adventures in 10 volumes: from World War II, through Argentina, the Indochina War, the Cuban Revolution, to the Algerian War. An exhilarating saga!

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