Can there be anything more heartwarming than reading a well written, heart touching, emotional book? I still remember reading Eric Segal’s Love Story and sobbing heavily by the time I turned its last page. It is amazing to see how few pages of a more or less imaginative story can move you so hard.
I am a sucker for emotional love stories. I have read plenty of them and have cried my heart out on multiple occasions. And I recommend reading an emotional story every once in a while. Apart from making you cry which has its own health benefits, they also help you in connecting with your loved ones and putting things in a clearer perspective. Recently I read Fredrick Beckman’s ‘A Man Called Ove’ and although I finished it sometime around midnight, I slept only after I sent an emotional text message to Sanjay.
Here are my recommendations on the best emotional love story books written by Indian authors. All of them are emotional. Some are romantic. But all of these have love as one of their central themes.
Top 30 Romantic and Emotional Books By Indian Authors
1. Gunahon Ka Devta by Dharamveer Bharti
I love this book. For its plot, prose and platonic love story. The central characters Sudha and Chander are etched in my mind forever. This is by far the most romantic and heart-wrenching book I have read. The books are listed in the order of the most romantic books.
2. Devdas by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
One book and three Bollywood movies. Do I need to say more?
3. The Japanese Wife by Kunal Basu
This isn’t a novel but a short story of a collection with the same name. Aparna Sen made a movie based on the story. Unlike other love stories on the list, this one is unique because the characters of the movie get married and stay committed to each other despite living thousands of miles away from one another. It is impossible to not cry at the end of the story.
4. Parineeta by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay
Another one by Sarat Chandra on the list. Unlike Devdad, this is about a young girl and her love. But like Devdas, this book is also about the flaws in the characters.
5. Saraswati Chandra by Govardhanram Madhavaram Tripathi
A Gujarati language book, it is considered as a jewel in Gujrati literature. A moving tale of love and longing, it has been adapted into a Hindi movie and a popular star plus TV serial.
6. Guide by RK Narayan
This isn’t your typical romantic love story. However, it does have a love story as its backdrop. If you haven’t read the book, watch the movie that starrs Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. It is beautiful.
7. Shadow and Soul by Nandita Bose
A love story that looks beyond a marriage and into an extra-marital affair. Its lyrical prose is what keeps you glued to it.
8. I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder Sigh
I picked up this book after reading how it made almost everyone cry but I couldn’t read it in full. I read bits and parts of it because its writing is average and feels dragged on. However, since it is a tragic story it does make you cry!
9. Till the Last Breath by Durjoy Dutta
Not a love story but a deeply emotional story that will certainly make you sob by the time you finish it.
10. Truly, Madly, Deeply by Faraaz Kazi
This is the book that got Faraaz his ‘Best Debut (Romance)’ title at the international Goodreads choice awards. This is a sweet love story of two school friends.
11. These Lines of Mehndi by Sumeetha Manikandan
Sumeetha takes a different note on love. It isn’t your mushy ‘I love you’ kind of a story. This one looks at love rather practically and this is what makes it worth a read.
12. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Who doesn’t know about this book?
13. Baaz by Anuja Chauhan
A pilot caught in the conflict between his love and dreams. It is a treat especially for those who love ‘fauj‘ boys!
14. The Glass Blower’s Breath by Sunetra Gupta
This is a beautifully crafted story of a young Indian woman that weaves everything together – her emotional, sexual and intellectual desires.
15. Does He Know a Mother’s Heart by Arun Shourie
A heartfelt book, written by Arun Shourie, that questions some basic beliefs we all hold. It is not a romantic story but a love story of life itself.
‘Does God care?’ What makes it even more profound is that it is based on Arun’s personal story.
16. Short Stories by Rabindra Nath Tagore
Pick up the collection of Rabindra Nath Tagore’s stories or any other Bengali stories collection and you would find love brimming on the pages.
17. The Secret of The Nagas by Amish Tripathi
Though this is more like mythological and historical fiction, I still get bumps while reading the love story of Shiva and Sati.
18. Pinjar by Amrita Pritam
Set in the times of partition, Pinjar is a heart-wrenching tale of a young woman and her struggles with the patriarchy and separation from her family. Pinjar was made into a motion picture starring Urmila Matondkar.
19. Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar
Originally written in Marathi language, Cobalt Blue is a love triangle between a brother and sister. It brings several new perspectives about family, sexuality and society.
20. A Fine Balance by Rohiton Mistry
Rohiton Mistry’s masterpiece was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1996 and was also selected for Oprah’s Book Club. It is a long but marvellous book that treads the journey of its four characters from post-independence days to the Emergency period in 1983.
21. The Last Song of Dusk by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
This gem of a book has been translated into more than 10 languages. Not just for the plot, the book mesmerizes the reader with its language and elaborate descriptions. Just see for yourself in the lines below:
“Are you a star?” he asked.
“No,” she replied, “I’m an entire constellation.”
22. Saraswati Park by Anjali Joseph
Saraswati Park is Anjali Joseph’s debut novel for which the author was awarded several prizes including Desmond Elliot Prize and Crossword Book Award. It is an enchanting story of love between a young man and his much older tutor.
23. What The Body Remembers by Shauna Singh Baldwin
Set in the backdrop of 1947 India-Pakistan partition, Shauna Singh’s debut novel looks at the story of two women married to the same man. One of them is a young woman who doesn’t mind being the second wife of an older man while the other knows what it means but has her own miseries to deal with as she cannot bear a child.
24. Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
It is a beautiful story of two sisters who have bonded in ways incomprehensible not only to their mothers but also to them. After long distance separates the two of them, they come together once again to be on each other’s side.
25. Divya by Yashpal
This book is like a historical canvas. A woman decisively makes her choice about her life after passing through political, social, religious and individualistic turmoils. It is moving in not one but many-many ways.
Divya is an empowering book and tells the story of a young Indian woman who is determined to fight all odds against the society and live a life of her own. It is a historical novel set in the periods of First Century B.C.
26. Godan by Prem Chand
Godan is Munshi Premchand’s most famous and notable work. First published in pre-independence era, it looks at the many evils prevailing in Indian society at the time – women exploitation, casteism, political upheaval – through interpersonal relationships.
27. 2 States by Chetan Bhagat
Loosely based on Chetan Bhagat’s own story of marriage, 2 states is a story of a Punjabi guy and a Tamilian girl falling in love with other. Their families don’t agree and this is what the book is all about. A fun book to read. The book has been made into a motion picture and rightfully so as it is full of all the Bollywood masala.
28. The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond
I have loved so many books by Ruskin Bond but ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is special. It is a unique story about a young girl and her strikingly unique blue umbrella which she gets as a gift from some Japanese tourists visiting her village. The book was made into a feature film for children by Vishal Bhardwaj.
29. A Half Baked Love Story by Anurag Garg and Gunjan Narang
Penned by two writers, Anurag Garg and Gunjan Narang, ‘A Half Baked Love Story’ is a true romantic book full of romanticism and contemporary love material. A piece of fiction, fun and frolic, it is an easy read.
30. Someone Like You by Nikita Singh and Durjoy Dutta
Two young writers – Nikita Singh and Durjoy Dutta – have come together to write this contemporary romantic novel called ‘Someone Like You.’ Unlike most of the other books mentioned in this list, this one is as much about friendship as it is about love.
Do you have a recommendation to make to the list? If yes, let me know in the comments.