Romantic Love across Borders: Marriage Migration in Popular Romance Fiction

Amy Burge*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In “Romantic Love across Borders: Marriage Migration in Popular Romance Fiction,” Amy Burge focuses on two romance novels published in 2019 to explore how they combine migration, intimacy, and romantic love. Helen Hoang’s The Bride Test tells the story of Esme/Mỹ Tran, a Vietnamese American single mother, who is invited by the hero’s mother, Cô Nga, to travel to the USA from Vietnam to seduce him. Although Esme and the hero, Khải, eventually fall in love, at the end of the novel, she is naturalised through her relationship with her newly found father rather than through marriage. Bautista’s You, Me, U.S. features Filipina Liza, who is pursuing a green-card marriage with her American fiancé, Christopher. However, Liza breaks up with Christopher and stays in Manila to pursue a relationship with her best friend Jo. In these novels, migration via marriage is clearly shown as a possible route out of precarity and poverty, but it is not a route that either character chooses. However, the insistence that marriage migration must be directed by romantic love represents a mainstream yet conservative view of marriage migration, which frames a notion of authentic romantic love in accordance with western cultural convention.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Love Studies in the Arts and Humanities
Subtitle of host publicationWhat's Love Got To Do With It?
EditorsMadalena Grobbelaar, Elizabeth Reid Boyd, Debra Dudek
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9783031260551
ISBN (Print)9783031260544
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2023


  • migration
  • love studies
  • Romance
  • Marriage
  • popular romance
  • Popular fiction
  • Cross-border love
  • Marriage Migration


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