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Old 01-09-2016, 12:40 AM   #1
ScalyFreak
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WANTED: Reverse small town romance

I hope I'm in the right forum... here goes:

Has anyone ever, in the history of romance novels, written a story about an adult (man or woman doesn't matter) who returns to the sleepy small town they grew up with, reconnects with childhood friends of all ages, rediscovers all the things he or she loved as a child, and then moves back to the large city they fled to as soon as it was possible because visiting their old home town reaffirmed that moving to Chicago or Los Angeles or New York or Whatever-city-the-author-likes, truly was the right choice for them?

I am fully aware that the way the quaint small towns of rural America are portrayed in romance novels is not in any way realistic (Duh. It's a romance novel.), but that makes it worse. That means that the notion of staying where you've always been is more important than broadening your horizons, and that true joy is to always be surrounded by people who care so much about you that they never leave you alone, constantly interrogate you about your feelings and then tell you how to handle them, and interfere in your life, is the ideal way of life for a large number of people out there.

To me it sounds like torture. And that's before we go into the lack of real Thai food and sushi, jazz cafes, museums, concert halls, and little things like having several career choices that can lead to well paid long-term careers.

So.

Has anyone ever written a story where the person who fled town right after high school comes back for a long visit, falls in love, and then the happy couple proceeds to move back to where he or she fled to and live happily ever after in a busy landscape of asphalt, corporate office jobs, and take-out food, for the rest of their lives?
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:12 AM   #2
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Have you read Brooklyn by Colm Tobin. It makes exactly this point, iirc.
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Old 01-09-2016, 01:17 AM   #3
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No, but I will most certainly look it up. Thank you!

I'm trying to build a to-read list of books on this theme.
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Old 01-09-2016, 03:29 PM   #4
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Read the book before the movie. Both are very good.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:44 PM   #5
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There's got to be more than one book like this out there... right? Anyone?
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:22 PM   #6
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I guess not.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:59 AM   #7
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I'm not much of a romance reader, but this sounds like an interesting -- and underutilized -- premise. I could see it working in a mystery (returning to a childhood home to solve a crime, all the while anxious to leave again), science fiction (maybe switch planets for the towns), etc.

Anyway, sorry I couldn't be of any help, but I do like the idea.
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Old 01-29-2016, 12:41 PM   #8
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I'm not much of a romance reader, but this sounds like an interesting -- and underutilized -- premise. I could see it working in a mystery (returning to a childhood home to solve a crime, all the while anxious to leave again), science fiction (maybe switch planets for the towns), etc.

Anyway, sorry I couldn't be of any help, but I do like the idea.
The premise seems to undercut the fairy-tale quality of a romance.
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Old 01-29-2016, 06:32 PM   #9
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The premise seems to undercut the fairy-tale quality of a romance.
How? The couple lives happily ever after in a place that makes them happy, because it allows them to pursue the lifestyle they want. That can still fit the premise of a fairy-tale ending.
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Old 01-29-2016, 10:13 PM   #10
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How? The couple lives happily ever after in a place that makes them happy, because it allows them to pursue the lifestyle they want. That can still fit the premise of a fairy-tale ending.
Then why isn't anyone coming up with a ton of examples?
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:21 PM   #11
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Are you asking about books where the hero and heroine reconnect when they visit "home" then they both move to a big city that one or both were living in?
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Old 01-29-2016, 11:32 PM   #12
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Then why isn't anyone coming up with a ton of examples?
Honest guess? Industry pressure and a certain cultural climate has led to an over-abundance of titles where the visitor from the big city realizes how empty their life there was, and how much happier they are here in this small town where people are "real" and care about each other. (Because we all know that the lack of close personal connections is the only reason anyone would ever be unhappy living an urban lifestyle.)

I don't expect there to be a large number of them, but I refuse to believe that no one else ever thought of this angle.

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Are you asking about books where the hero and heroine reconnect when they visit "home" then they both move to a big city that one or both were living in?
For example, yes.

Or a book where the person visiting from the big city falls in love, and the one they fall in love with is happy to move back to the big city with them and they live happy there together.

One of the joys of reading is to be completely immersed in the story and to for a short while be there in another world and life for a while. That immersion is kind of difficult to get to when the dreams and ambitions of the kind of life the characters want, is practically the opposite of what I've always wanted, and the opposite of what I am very happy with.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:23 AM   #13
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Honest guess? Industry pressure and a certain cultural climate has led to an over-abundance of titles where the visitor from the big city realizes how empty their life there was, and how much happier they are here in this small town where people are "real" and care about each other. (Because we all know that the lack of close personal connections is the only reason anyone would ever be unhappy living an urban lifestyle.)

I don't expect there to be a large number of them, but I refuse to believe that no one else ever thought of this angle.
"Industry pressure and a certain culture climate"--to me, that translates to giving the intended audience what they want and expect: the happily-ever-after fairy tale with the idyllic small-town, vine-covered cottage ambiance. That's just not the city in the popular imagination.

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Or a book where the person visiting from the big city falls in love, and the one they fall in love with is happy to move back to the big city with them and they live happy there together.
No, the visiting city dweller falls in love with the country bumpkin, eventually realizes that the city isn't that great, is a source of stress and unhappiness, and embraces country life. Romance isn't my genre, but I could name you dozens like that, not one that's what you asked for.
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Old 01-30-2016, 12:46 AM   #14
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"Industry pressure and a certain culture climate"--to me, that translates to giving the intended audience what they want and expect: the happily-ever-after fairy tale with the idyllic small-town, vine-covered cottage ambiance. That's just not the city in the popular imagination.
That's another way of saying what I meant with "certain culture climate". People who for some reason are unhappy envision the perfection of idyllic small town life, and that's where they want to escape to.

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No, the visiting city dweller falls in love with the country bumpkin, eventually realizes that the city isn't that great, is a source of stress and unhappiness, and embraces country life. Romance isn't my genre, but I could name you dozens like that, not one that's what you asked for.
I could too. That's why I'm trying to find stories that go in the opposite direction.
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Old 01-30-2016, 01:04 AM   #15
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There's a trope name for the underlying conflict of the general idea of what you want, "The City vs. the Country", which might be useful as a descriptive shorthand.

It sounds like you want a subversion of Plot B2. Unfortunately, there are very few such mentioned among the media listed under "Moving from City to Country", and no romance ones as far as I could tell.
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