Monday, July 18, 2011

The Appeal of the Reunion Lisa Mondello

Saturday night I attended my high school reunion. No, I will not tell you exactly which one it was. Let's just say I graduated high school a long time ago and leave it at that! Many of the "kids" I went to high school with I haven't seen since graduation day. So it was a real treat to see old friends, catch up on how life has been for everyone and share some laughs.

It got me thinking about reunion romance stories, which I happen to LOVE. What is it about reunion stories that has such appeal for readers? I'm a writer, but I'm a reader first and, like you, I have my favorite plotlines that draw me in. Reunion stories always do.

When the hero and heroine already know each other and have a history, there is instant tension. They're not meeting and learning about each other for the first time (along with the reader.) They are rehashing old wounds that pulled them apart as they (many times reluctantly) try to fix them.

I think, too, that reunion stories are so popular because we genuinely want to root for the couple. We don't want relationships to fail and when you know from the start that "something" pulled these two people who love each other apart, you want them to fix it. You want them to rekindle what they lost. And it's fun to watch it happen.

What are your reasons for liking reunion stories?

Lisa Mondello


  1. Exactly the same.

    No one likes to know that somewhere there are twin souls that won't get together unless some event brings them together and they can discover that for them, by rekindling the flame but also by overcoming what led them apart.

    There's also that healing proccess that sometimes such novel brings - while they were away they had failed relationships (romantic or not) and other mishaps that they can now get over with, together...

    And there's the added benefit of having someone who knew you at 17 or 18 - when your in the top of your youth, beauty and energy - and get together few years later and see that so much changed without really changing :sigh:

  2. Excellent points. Yes. Don't you just love reunions!

  3. Hi Lisa:

    For me, reunion stories depend on how many years they span!

    Usually these stories make me sad for all the lost years that you can’t get back. The longer the separation, the sadder the situation.

    I like reunion stories best when the hero and heroine were never dating and never considered each other romantically. I like it best when the hero and heroine were adversaries, like a liberal and conservative, running for class president.

    It’s fun when they meet in the future and they have switched positions and are now in a reverse adversarial role using each other’s old arguments. They have a lot in common now: they have both held both views in their lives.

    The reunion story I don’t like is when the young couple broke up because of a simple misunderstanding, (the mother didn’t deliver the message) which should have been easily rectified over they years if they really ever cared about each other.

    But that’s me. I like to see a Round Two of the adversarial situation only this time ending in a synthesis of love. I like it when a relationship wouldn't have worked the first time around. (Where they actually gained by waiting for each other to become the right person). This makes the HEA much more H! And you don't have to deal with the sadness of the lost years!


  4. Interesting comments, Teresa and Vince! I love second chances--period. We humans make mistakes so often we need them.

  5. Lisa, I love them, too. Am working on a proposal for one now. I think maybe because there's that history between them. We want to root for love, especially young love (for some reason). :)

  6. I haven't made it to a single reunion.
    And, the reunion stories I like best are usually mystery.
    So, come on, Lisa. Was it your tenth?

  7. Pam, my lips are sealed! Vince, you bring up some good points. I'll have to ponder that some because I think of adversaries and old friends as acquaintances. But you got me thinking...

  8. Hi Lisa,
    I get to go to two reunions this year. And no, I'm not going to say which ones either. One is from the high school I did graduate from and the other is the high school I would have graduated from had we not moved from Philadelphia in 7th grade. I'm really excited about seeing a lot of the kids I went to grade school with. I like the appeal for reunions stories for the same reasons already stated here adn think my next LI will be a reunion story, too. Great post.

  9. Lisa, I was at my high school reunion this past Saturday, too.


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