Local Books for Every Stage of Love

We all want our romance to go swimmingly.

Source: Giphy

But it can be hard work if we don’t know which stage our relationships are at.

We’re no love gurus, but the experiences of these book characters can help. After hearing their stories, you can probably tell which of these 3 phases of love your heart falls under:

Stage 1: Inseparability, sweet gestures and a healthy glow.

If this is your reaction when you can’t meet up with your bae:

Source: Giphy

You’re probably a lost cause at this stage. 😂

Ponti by Sharlene Teo

Picador, 2018

Get the book here: Physical Copy, Audiobook

In this book, the protagonist’s parents — Amisa and Wei Loong also found it hard to be apart.

It all started from a chance encounter on the bus. In her hurry to avoid him, she ended up falling for him instead — both literally and figuratively. Within a matter of months, they tied the knot.

He doted on her, and whenever he sensed her annoyance, he went out to the market and bought her breakfast, lunch or dinner: little baos or kueh lapis, whatever she wanted. It’s no wonder she gained 5kg overnight, but her glow was unmistakable:

“Her hair acquired a glossier sheen. She became invincibly beautiful: the clarity of her cheeks, her little ankles and the lucid poetry others projected onto her blank expression.”

If this describes you, remember to store these sweet memories for later.

But alas! All good things must come to an end, and before you know it you may reach…

Stage 2: Disillusionment, stifled feelings and withdrawing from company.

And now you’re wondering:

Source: Giphy

The Wanderlusters by Grace Chia

Math Paper Press, 2016

Get the book here: Physical Copy, eBook, Audiobook

For Joe and Delilah, their deep love is evident — they are each other’s first love, they have a sweet daughter and are well cared for by Delilah’s job in the travelling circus.

However, Joe’s interests are vastly different from Delilah’s. Before meeting her, he would have gone down the path of a poor philosophy graduate student and still be happy. He gave that all up to accommodate Delilah’s job.

Things came to a head when he couldn’t take his stifled house husband life anymore. Disappearing without a trace, his angry feelings are slowly revealed in snippets of monologues. Instead of communicating her frustration, Delilah also left him alone and sought other love interests.

We wonder if things would have turned out differently, had they both communicated much earlier! 😫

Stage 3: Peeled back layers, quiet acceptance and lasting commitment.

Congrats, if you’ve managed to trash things out to reach this milestone!

And if you admire Jack and Rose’s love story:

Source: Giphy

We’ve got a treat for you.

The Impermanence of Lilies by Daniel Yeo

Ethos Books, 2019

Get the book here: Physical Copy

David Yeo re-imagines the ethereal love story of the Titanic’s Captain — Edward and his wife, Eleanor, and their lifelong commitment to each other.

It all began at a ball, where he fancied her prettier friend instead. But a mix-up of names led him to call on Eleanor instead. Through that one mistake, they grew to understand and love each other:

“We put on layers. To protect against the cold, of others… But time and patience peel layers. And I discovered her, as layers fell. Under those layers, was a shyness. And under that shyness was a hidden warmth.”

She accepted his life as a sailorman and didn’t stop him from pursuing his career at sea.

After he went down with the ship, his spirit lingers on and wanders around the world. He finds his wife Eleanor again, knitting a sweater for him.

But it doesn’t end there, he continues to look out for her and she herself never remarries. Prepare some tissues because this touching love story will be sure to tug at your heartstrings. 😢

Which stage most describes your relationship? We’d love to hear your love story!


All books featured are available via the NLB Mobile app or at our public libraries.


Text by
National Reading Movement
National Library Board


Medium Account for Public Libraries Singapore — book lists…

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Medium Account for Public Libraries Singapore — book lists and book reviews, discovering programmes at the libraries and promoting a bookish lifestyle.

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