Warning: I am to Valentine's Day what Ebenezer Scrooge was to Christmas before the spirits visited the miserable ol' tight wad.
That doesn't mean a good love story won't make me swoon and sigh.
And no story makes me sigh more than (careful, I'm showing my age here) the 1977 Aussie tale of forbidden love between Meggie Cleary and Father Ralph in "The Thorn Birds" by Colleen McCullough.
To be honest, I saw the mini series on TV long before I read the book. My cousin, Jill, could tell you a really embarrassing story about my fascination with Richard Chamberlain (She better not, but I bet my blog post title made her laugh until she cried). My co-worker, Sheryl, could probably tell you how I fell into a deep depression when Richard Chamberlain broke my heart by coming out of the closet.
Thankfully, I'd read the book and managed to create my own mental image of Meggie and Father Ralph before the man who portrayed him on screen announced his loyalty to the all-male team. (I'm not bitter. Really.)
I can't really explain why Meggie and Father Ralph are my favorite literary couple. I mean, when you really think about it, the story is very twisted and wrong.
After all, Father Ralph is a priest, so he's already "married to God." Very few writers can pull off making a married man a worthy hero.
There's also the fact that Father Ralph watches Meggie grow up. Considering the somewhat recent scandals in the Catholic church, the story has the potential to conjure some pretty heebie-jeebie images.
But I'm a sucker for stories of forbidden love. I'm a sucker for strong, stubborn heroines. And I'm a sucker for stories that leave me with an unsettled, unfinished feeling.
That's what Father Ralph and Meggie give me.
So who is your favorite literary couple?