Why we love happily ever afters

Because sometimes fiction really is better than reality...

I don't know about you, but there's something about reading a book with a happy ending that always leaves me with a sense of fervent hope. With all the depressing news that we're bombarded with on a day-to-day basis, something's just got to give.

In my last column, I wrote about how I often choose to escape in a novel because it keeps me from becoming completely disaffected by everything and everyone around me. I see the irony in this, but it certainly works for me.

And judging from the reader responses I've received below, I'm definitely not the only one.

Bernice says:

I can remember reading before I started school, my love for reading was instilled in me by my Mother who was a lover of the written word, but I will never forget the feeling I got the first time I ever read my first Mills and Boon, I must of been 12 or 13. I was excited, ashamed and exhilarated all at once but damn it, I enjoyed it so much. Reading became my escape mechanism.

At some stage we do grow up and reality sets in but my romance novels still got me through many dark nights, when the reality of my marriage breaking up hit me, the fact that I had to raise two children on my own, I always knew I had something to look forward to when I got into bed at night, it then became my turn to escape reality a little bit and just gush, sigh and giggle a bit.

You have to be able to differentiate between reality and fairy tales and that is what makes it so enjoyable for me.

I also love to read other books, heavy, deep books and when I am done with that I pick up my fairy tale romance and gush, sigh and giggle a lot. The happy ever afters are my medicine, my pick me ups; other people use alcohol, drugs and many other devices in life – me, I just read.

Helen's thoughts on HEA:

Being addicted to books, reading and happy endings is most definitely a good thing! Much, much better than being addicted to drugs or alcohol for that matter!

I don’t like unhappy endings at all. It leaves me with a feeling of unfinished business. Not cool! I’ve written before (and won!) for telling you how absorbed I get with the books I read. I move into character and can’t quite shed it after I’ve read the last page.

Even now as I type I’m in “mourning” for having finished one book and having to start another. I’m so keen to start on a new adventure, but like a jilted lover I long to carry on with the “fantasy” that I’ve just finished.

Tammy, the more books with happy endings, the better. As you say, we face enough dreadful news everyday (I don’t even read the newspapers anymore and I’m a journalism graduate!!) so a little escapism is as good as a dip in a cool pool after a hot day in the sun! Enjoy and never stop believing in a good thing

Hayley finds comfort in happily ever after moments:

Following the days after my dad’s death, I have already gone back to read one of my favourite “happy ever after” books.

Family members and friends could not understand how I could bury myself into a book so soon after my dad’s passing.

They obviously don’t know what it feels like to lose yourself in a totally different world where everything is happier, brighter and much more predictable than real life – if only I could have predicted that my dad was going to be leaving this earth, I would have held him tighter and told him how much I loved him, but because I didn’t know, I wasn’t afforded the opportunity.

However, I love the feeling I get when I know they’re about to kiss or I love the butterflies I get when I can feel my skin burn under the imaginative touch of the books hero!! When the lead female character is happy, I am happy too, when she’s sad, I’m sad too and when she’s in-love, boy…so am i!

So I can fully relate to you! Who needs drugs and alcohol to escape depression when we have a whole world of books out there?

Reading is my saving grace, it’s what keeps me ticking, it’s what makes me believe in better things.

Jen says:

Totally agree with you. I love a good ol' soul burner of a book, but when I need a bit of TLC, Marian Keyes is my go-to girl (Last night someone told me they don't like Marian Keyes and I almost had to leave the table to stop myself demanding they retract that despicable remark).

The Twilights were TLC books for me too, though I spent large chunks of the story rolling my eyes (my girlfriends despair of me, I'm am hopelessly UNromantic).

*Sigh* I think it's time for some TLC lit for me too, it's THAT time of the year again (feeling 'whelmed' I think Sam once called it) and I could use a book as soft and cuddly as my feather duvet.

Are you a fan of happily ever after reads? Tell us about your favourite books that have happy endings.


- Women24

Read more on: fiction  |  books  |  romance  |  reading

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