I wish to focus on the “sentimental hero,” a hero who is more emotional in nature, perhaps more introspective.
In the character of the widower, sentiments are on full display; and in these sentiments, romance novelists encourage readers to think through the happily ever after and what happens when that “ever after” comes to an end with the death of the lover. To these ends, I will study one novel, Lost in Sensation by Maureen Child, and this novel will serve as a case study.
The color blue—as it is presented in Lost in Sensation—cannot be contained or ignored. It is repeated on various occasions throughout the novel—especially in the sex scene that is so essential to the removal of the barrier. The author willingly makes use of the color blue. And for the reader, it is difficult not to take note of this fact.
Maureen Child's Lost in Sensation is very much about the problem of the second time, the time after the happily ever after, when one is confronted by the seeming impossibility of loving after the loss of their first love. What is so striking about Child's novel is how it explores, with great detail, the possibility of loving again, especially for the widower. Focusing on the figure of the widower as a sentimental hero in this popular romance novel shows how one author plays with emotions and affect.