Books that make you cry

by - February 09, 2012

There are some books that make me sniffle, but in a nice, pleasurable way, because I know that whatever the setback it will be temporary and by the end of the book everything will be set to rights. And then there are books that make me want to cry out to the author, "Nooo, that's too sad. How could you do that?" Usually it's the death of a character that triggers this response, but it is the way the author builds up to this event that stirs the emotion so fiercely.

I'm still recovering from reading Anna Quindlen's Every Last One, even though it's been a couple of days since I finished it. This was such a harrowing book for me it gave me nightmares. Quindlen doesn't indulge in grisly details, but that makes her writing even more resonant and suspenseful. Definitely not a book for lazy weekend reading.

Other books that have made me cry in the past:
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons - a sweeping love story set in Russia during WWII. So much suffering in this book, but it was the escape of the hero and his brother-in-law from a POW camp that had me choking.

The Twisted Sword by Winston Graham (book 11 in the Poldark series). My attention tends to wander when a book goes into long descriptions of a battle, but this book had such a gripping, intense description of the Battle of Waterloo where a much-loved character meets his end. Again, it's the events leading up to the death that make it such a powerful piece of writing.

After all that suffering, I need a break, so I'm re-reading Barbara Pym's Jane and Prudence.

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