Books that make me cry

I was asked recently by the administrators of the website Rogue Cart if I would like to put together a list of ten books of my choosing, on a theme of my choosing, and write a few words on each. Never being one to hide my light under a bushel, I agreed. And, being somewhat maudlin and lachrymose by temperament, I decided to choose books that address the theme of grief. Or, as the title of my list puts it, Ten Books That Make You Cry. (Strictly speaking, they’re not all “books”: I’ve included a few poems and short stories in the list.)

Please do have a look.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris Lyon on May 10, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    An interesting choice of topic, and some equally interesting nominations. Some of your suggestions I know, others are suggestions I would like to explore. The surprise among them was, for me, ‘The Age of Innocence ‘, not because I don’t find it sad, but more because I was puzzled as to why, of all Edith Wharton’s works, this was the one you found most likely to provoke tears. Personally, although I recognise the sadness, even the tragedy, in ‘The Age of Innocence ‘, I also find myself thinking that the characters in that book do at least have a limited control over their fate. Infinitely sadder for me are the stories where characters are caught in a relentless downward spiral, totally outside their ability to make any realistic choice. I am thinking particularly of ‘The House of Mirth’, or ‘Ethan Frome’, maybe even ‘Summer’. A few other candidates spring to mind. I suppose the key difference is that in the books I have mentioned, the characters exist, either on the fringes of ‘society’, or completely outside its bounds. For me, that increases their vulnerabilities and, thus, the overall sadness, but I am quite willing to be convinced otherwise.

    Reply

    • I think I chose The Age of Innocence above the other Wharton titles partly because I read it only recently (post to follow shortly!), and partly because I was trying to cover as many different kinds of depiction of grief as I could. Since I already had a few examples of intense, gut-wrenching grief, I wanted an example of gentler, more understated melancholy. I considered some novels by Turgenev before settling on this one. I tried also, in my choice, to gave a judicious mixture of novels, short stories, plays, and poems.

      Reply

      • Posted by Chris Lyon on May 10, 2017 at 10:04 pm

        Yes, I can quite see that. I was curious, but I have no problem with accepting the validity of a more understated aspect of the emotion.

  2. “as many different kinds of depiction of grief” – yes, I thought that was the most impressive and creative thing about your list, and your annotations: the variety you covered, in form but also in emotional content.

    Reply

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