Why Do I Feel Uncomfortable Reading Teenage Love Stories?
As I’m wrapping up The Death of the Heart—I know, it’s taken me forever—I’ve noticed how uncomfortable I am reading teenage love stories.
This one tells the story of Portia, a young 16-year-old girl who moves to London to live with her brother and his wife, only to fall in love with an older 23-year-old creepy guy who is a friend of the family. He’s essentially the early 20th Century of a frat boy douche bag.
Nothing “happens,” if you know what I mean (at least to the point in the story I’ve read), but the whole plot line is a bit tiresome. We’re not going in Lolita territory here.
So there’s a lot more to The Death of the Heart that just a teenage love story—it’s a meticulously written novel with well-developed characters. But, ultimately, it’s about a teenage girl who falls in love, writes in her diary a lot, and more than likely gets her heartbroken. As an 38-year-old married man with two kids, I feel weird reading this. That’s an entirely subjective thought, but it is big part of me experience while reading this novel.
So as I close out reading the novel, I’m left wondering why? Why am I reading this?
And I can’t answer that question yet. I’m left wondering what the draw to The Death of the Heart is—why it was included on a list such as Time’s.
I’ll try and answer that question for you when I review the novel some time next week.