While reading Radway's Women Read the Romance, I couldn't help but almost feel a bit sympathetic towards the women being interviewed in the study. These women are figuratively escaping from their lives that they claim to not be bad but it's not the fairytale most women dream about. But are these women any different from young women and teenagers who read fictional fairytales like Twilight, The Hunger Games or even any Sarah Dessen books? I am guilty of reading all of these and yet it appears to be more socially acceptable for me to read romantic novels rather than these women. Is it because I am younger and haven't gotten married yet? I am probably doing myself a disservice by reading these books since I was younger, creating expectations for a life of love that simply does not happen for everyone. Yet, these women appear to be in a different category, one where they are married, have children and lead the life that many young girls dream about for their own futures. Radway points out the disheartening fact that many more women (and men) face in reality, that "life has not given them all that it once promised," (47).
Don't get me wrong, I can't really bash these books or the people that read them since I am very much included in its audience. Is there anything wrong with fantasizing about a better or another life that presents different elements of love that we may not have or may never receive? Is this contributing to the expectations of marriage and love? Probably. Does it contribute to the growing divorce rate? Who knows. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly what the question I'm trying to get at here but this certainly makes me think about why and what I take away from romance novels.