Scott Lord‘s Come November (Greenleaf Publishing, July 18, 2023) is garnering praise for its execution and story. The historical fiction thriller, romance is about two newspaper journalists who reconnect five decades later and discover whether their love has stood the test of time. In honor of the book’s release, check out Lord’s compelling take on romance and the underrepresentation of older romantics.

Love Among The Ruins

By Scott Lord

Romance in the media frequently seems to be the exclusive province of those under fifty. We read of teens like Romeo and Juliet, watch friendly twenty-somethings search for sex (and love) in the city, follow the fortunes of career-obsessed people in their thirties forced by a creaky plot device to smell the roses and find a mate, and we witness the antics of widows/widowers in their forties with preternaturally precocious young children who get a ‘last chance’ at love.

But if you’re looking for romantic tales for those old enough to remember the Reagan Era, the pickings and public interest seem to thin considerably. No one cares, do they? Isn’t romantic love for the young or the young-ish? So I used to think. When the days you’ve lived number more than the days you have left, I figured it was time to focus on asset-balancing your IRA, finding a reliable cardiologist, and deciding whether taking social security a year later might keep you from having to live on cat food when you’re eighty-seven. Anyway, you’re certainly well out of the mix and mess of finding love and getting married. Who wants to return to their first teenage fumblings, the agonies of a hopeless crush, or the pain of unrequited affection? 

The answer is that we are never past our need for love and I don’t mean the love of our friends or children and grandchildren, wonderful as it is. What I discovered when I got old enough to qualify for senior discounts and what I tried to put into words when I wrote Come November, was that the fact that you are fifty – or seventy or eighty – doesn’t change the way you feel, how deeply you love, or how much you can hurt.

Come November is the tale of a woman in her early seventies left alone by the death of her husband with a problematic forty-year-old son and a difficult teenage granddaughter. She receives an invitation from a man who broke her heart fifty years earlier to meet him in Italy, to talk about their past and, perhaps, discover if they could have a future. And that invitation, that whisper of hope of a romantic relationship, is enough to make her travel the six thousand miles from Los Angeles to Italy and to undertake the difficult but worthwhile work of building a relationship. 

I’ve called this essay “Love Among The Ruins” after the 1855 Robert Browning poem; a title that is so good it has been adopted and co-opted again and again by artists, writers, film makers, TV shows, and pop musicians. The title is a metaphor for the survival of eternal love despite the decay of civilization and the creeping destruction of our world. It is a symbol of the shining hope of love’s continued existence despite the inevitable desolation of our bodies. Whatever ruins we fear we have made of our time on earth, in the end, “love is best.” It is never too late to feel the rush of hope that can only come from the romantic love of another person.

Samuel Johnson once observed that a second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience and that is precisely what love in one’s later years demands:  Hope.  Love after fifty requires you to set aside your fear of rejection, forget your worries about looking ridiculous, and, most of all, that you overcome the belief that the fact you look a little older, move a little slower, or take a little longer, means that you must surrender forever your hope of love and companionship.

In my experience, the reward of finding love is worth every miserable thing you might have to endure during your search. Loneliness is the chronic mental illness of everyone born human. Love – the active concern for someone else’s welfare and their reciprocal concern for yours – is the cure. As Shakespeare more or less observed, our “eternal summer” does not have to fade simply because the brutal cold of life’s winters have dug deep furrows in our brows. Love is something that each of us can choose to keep alive in ourselves and which, in turn, gives life to us. 

About Scott Lord:

Scott Lord is a longtime Los Angeles trial lawyer, as well as a writer and librettist. He graduated with honors from the University of California at Santa Cruz and from the Santa Clara University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review. He and his wife, Susan, are the parents of six children and live in Santa Monica, California. His novels include The Logic Bomb (2015) and Come November (2023).

To purchase Come November on Amazon, B&N,, and everywhere books are sold.

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