I drove to Upstate New York this past weekend and over the 7-hour drive I had ample time to listen to the radio. One of the recurrent discussions was the new Taylor Swift song and, in fact, I heard a brief interview with her about the inspiration for the piece.
She mentioned that while so many romances don't work and a lot of people may not have the exact models of a healthy relationship that they would like, many people--like her--are hopeless romantics and daydream about the rare exception.
It seemed, however, over the course of my drive that for every song about a cheating partner, there were several more about a fabulous love story--the hopeless romantics won out. Even in The Luxe, which I'll review tomorrow, despite all the scheming and betrayal, pressures and politics, true love seems to find a detour through all of that.
So as I drove out of the congestion of Washington, D.C., through the long, winding hills of rural Pennsylvania, and finally crossed over into the Empire State I got to wondering, in literature, what's the right balance between reality and "fantasy"? Do we want all make-believe for a beach read but something with more "meat on the bones" for every day? Does the idealistic relationship work better in first person because it's more voyeuristic? Does the "idealistic" relationship look different from a male protagonist point of view versus a female point of view and if so, how? And how much reality does there need to be for it to be believable and how much true fiction for it to be fun?
I don't have the answers but maybe you do...or at least some thoughts on the topic?