Hot Docs Review: Love Between The Covers (2015, Laurie Kahn)


The world of romance writing is not just about the fantastical love between two characters, but also the intense pay-it-forward sisterhood of its predominantly female community. In an hour and a half, Love Between the Covers tackles everything under the umbrella, but throughout it shines how empowering writing and reading romance fiction is for women. And that’s what you call an HEA (Happily Ever After).

Hopefully this documentary educates those who scoff at romance titles in grocery stores and libraries. Romance fiction is a multi-billion dollar section of the publishing industry, and underneath it lies practically any other genre – science fiction romance, historical romance, fantasy romance, horror romance, Amish romance, etc. There’s something for everyone. The documentary tackles this issue head on right off the bat – scoffing back at those who scrunch up their noses saying ‘you read that?’ and saying point-blank why it’s so great. To put it lightly, author Beverly Jenkins chuckles, “We are the shit.”

Love Between the Covers gives a boost to so many interesting romance authors – Jenkins, Mary Bly (Eloisa James), Len Barot (Radclyffe), Susan Donovan, Celeste Bradley and Nora Roberts, to name a few – as well as lots of others in the publishing industry. It’s impossible not to be impressed by them. Very few get to make it their day job but it’s clear they do it for the passion. There are a lot of scenes of women writing on their laptops at home in their PJs. Readers hang on to every word, and authors pump out multiple books per year. They show tremendous spirit in their work, compassion for one another and honour for the trade. They know how to craft great love stories and many have found their niches to fill in cracks such as the lack in queer and person of colour areas, which has changed many people’s lives since. This documentary is full of fantastic, hilarious quotes. It’s easy to follow along through the narrative of the work and the industry. These women are sassy, down to earth and incredibly smart. They tackle every hurdle fearlessly, explaining this is one place you’ll find women’s sexuality fairly represented… you can have sex without dying a horrible death… the idea that romance novels are sneered at because they’re written by women, for women and about women… the list goes on.

Above all, love trumps hate.

Love Between The Covers screens on Friday, May 1  @ 9:30 PM at Fox Theatre.

Posted on by jessica in Hot Docs

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