I hope that the last post, Hooking up in the Depression, didn't give the impression that financial trouble was the only cause for relationships to take odd forms and face serious difficulties. Men and women had problems getting and staying together before the depression hit, and they went on having them after it came to an end. Many famous novels, of course, focus on love. Those in the romance genre usually have happy endings. In more serious fiction romance often goes awry. Books in California's Famous Fifty, however, don’t have much to say about love. They usually explore other themes and put romance into the background. Blix and The Subterraneans appear to be the only exceptions. So readers interested in relationships must dig into the less-than-famous novels. Here are five books well worth reading:
1. Outsiders by Josephine Bentham. Opposites attract, get married, and begin drifting off in different directions.
2. Reckless Hollywood by Haynes Lubou. A writer finds herself in an abusive relationship because she can't tell the difference between love and sexual attraction.
3. If I Come Home by Nellise Child. Love tries to conquer class distinctions.
4. East of Midnight by Forrest Rosaire. Two kids meet in grade school and connect off and on for the next twenty years.
5. So Many Doors by Oakley Hall. What should have been a brief hook-up turns into long-term but intermittent affair.
All these books are out of print. Four of them should be easy to get through interlibrary loan. The last two in the list have reasonably priced copies at internet booksellers. Reckless Hollywood is the exception. No copies are for sale, and only two are in library collections. (Actually three, if you count the Spanish translation in Madrid.) Google needs to get on this.