1 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare)
Shakespeare creates a world of violence and generational conflict in which two young people fall in love and die because of that love. The story is rather extraordinary in that the normal problems faced by young lovers are here so very large.
2 Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
In what may be Dickens’s best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of “great expectations.”
3 Gone with the Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
Margaret Mitchell’s epic novel of love and war won the Pulitzer Prize and one of the most popular and celebrated movies of all time.Many novels have been written about the Civil War and its aftermath. None take us into the burning fields and cities of the American South as Gone With the Wind does.
4 Madame Bovary (Gustave Falubert)
When Emma Rouault marries Charles Bovary she imagines she will pass into the life of luxury and passion that she reads about in sentimental novels and women’s magazines. But Charles is a dull country doctor, and provincial life is very different from the romantic excitement for which she yearns. In her quest to realize her dreams she takes a lover, and begins a devastating spiral into deceit and despair.
5 The Graduate (Charles Webb)
When Benjamin Braddock graduates from a small Eastern college and moves home to his parents’ house, everyone wants to know what he’s going to do with his life.Benjamin falls haplessly into an affair with Mrs. Robinson, the relentlessly seductive wife of his father’s business partner. It’s only when beautiful co-ed Elaine Robinson comes home to visit her parents that Benjamin, now smitten, thinks he might have found some kind of direction in his life.