I generally get turned off by too much romance in books and I’m just not a Valentine’s Day person in general (Hallmark holiday, anyone?). And, similar to New Year’s Eve, you’re expected to go have a romantic dinner with your significant other, but you can’t find a babysitter and most restaurants run prix fixe menus where your choice is limited, yet you pay double its regular cost.
So…instead of a sappy list of the most romantic couples in books, I give you the Anti-Valentine’s Day list of Most Disastrous Literary Relationships. Bring on the dysfunction…
10 Disastrous Literary Relationships
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
Nothing says romance like a teenage girl who literally eats her love interests. There’s more than one disastrous relationship in this book.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Obvious, but how can you NOT include Nick and Amy Dunne?!
Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum
Affairs, affairs, affairs! Yes, that can lead to disaster. I didn’t actually like this book, but it certainly belongs on the “most disastrous relationships” list.
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow
A solid marriage can usually withstand a new friend entering the circle. The consequences of this social addition are tragic.
The Great Santini by Pat Conroy
Pair an abusive husband and father with an enabler wife whose primary concern is keeping up appearances and you get the dysfunctional Meacham marriage. Bonus points for Bull Meacham being based on Pat Conroy’s real-life father.
The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian
I imagine bachelor parties are frequently points of contention in marriages…but nothing quite like this one.
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman
Nate Piven and pretty much every girl he ever dated. This look at what a decently successful New York male in his 20’s looks for in a woman (and the differences in male and female relationship behavior) is liable to make a single woman never want to dip her toes in the New York dating pool again.
The Truth And Other Lies by Sascha Arango
A marriage will no doubt face difficulties when the wife is the actual author of the husband’s bestselling novels.
The Two Mrs. Grenvilles by Dominick Dunne
The fictional Ann Grenville is based on the real life socialite Ann Woodward, who shot her husband, Billy, claiming she mistook him for an intruder.
The Wife by Meg Wolitzer
Wife abandons her own literary talent to spend a life coddling her gigantic man-baby of a husband…just imagine the pent-up resentment simmering in Joan Castleman.