Between Pastel Book Covers

Rosemary Goring wonders whether romance novels shouldn’t be subjected to the same level of criticism as literary fiction.

Some say [romance novels] need no publicity, being destined for the top-10 lists without a cheep from the literary pack. Others believe they should be reviewed on the same terms as any other novel. The problem is, these books rarely attempt to do anything new. Their success lies in their formula. The settings may change, and the names of their characters, but the ingredients are so familiar and well-used, it’s surprising there are any of them left in the fridge.
It seems unfair to analyse such novels by the standards used to evaluate more artistically ambitious works. And yet should they slip by, year after year, without scrutiny?

She takes a closer look at Josephine Cox’s The Journey.