It’s already well-known that I’m not particularly fond of happy endings in fiction. Scrap that – I hate them. Or I would, if I would remember them. If a book doesn’t make me suffer, I will most probably forget about it (this is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the idea). It’s just that an and-they-lived-happily-ever-after is not realistic – don’t lie to me telling me that he gets the girl, and the horse, and the castle. Make him lose the girl and live the rest of his almost eternal life alone in his castle, watching his horse slowly fade away. Or he gets the girl and the horse (I’m generous here, you see?), but the castle burns down or is invaded by the crown’s enemies. I won’t like it. In fact, it will break my heart. But I love having my heart broken (if we’re talking about fictional stories, Universe, jinx!!!).
So there are two kinds of books that I enjoy eyes-bawling-wise. It’s either the books that have a sad premise (a sad story, a character that does everything for his goal and fails nonetheless, that loves someone so badly but never gets with that person) or the ones with such a shocking ending that will make me want to throw the book against the wall (I never did that). For example, my favourite book has the most twisted ending I’ve ever read. I like endings that are so horrible they would be funny if they wouldn’t be tragic.
In today post I will recommend you 3 books from the first category, all 5 stars material. Books that will shatter your heart so badly you’ll search for the lost pieces in the vacuum cleaner bag.
The Green Mile by Stephen King
I can’t praise Stephen King enough for the force that he is. He’s my favourite writer for a dozen different reasons, this book being one of them. The Green Mile tells the story of John Coffey, a black man who is on death row for the alleged rape and murder of two young white girls. We see everything through Paul Edgecombe’s eyes, the guard supervisor. If there is someone who can build a character and make you care about him, that is Stephen King.
When you’ll bawl your eyes out, a part of your brain will still find the time to take a step back and witness the emotional wreck that you’ve become, impressed of how good the book must be that it made you regress to a crying baby.
This book will make you wonder why do bad things happen to good people.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This book was impressive as only avalanches and tsunamis and human tragedies can be. There wasn’t much of a plot – in a post-apocalyptic America, a father and a son try to reach the coast, hoping they’ll find… something, anything to help them survive. If you want something full of action this isn’t the book for you. There aren’t zombies or crazy fights or anything of sorts. On the contrary, The Road relies heavily on description and the prose is almost lyrical. And the weird thing is – I’m not someone who usually enjoys this kind of writing, but I loved it here. So, in fact, his is a book for everyone, because there’s a high chance you will love it too.
The Road is a heart-wrenching story about love, sacrifice and family, and the struggle to survive in a world that lost all hope.
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini hasn’t written much: A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed and Sea Prayer. I highly recommend ATSS and TKR (I haven’t gotten yet to ATME).
I think I resonated more with ATSS, firstly because it’s the first book by Khaled Hosseini that I’ve read and secondly because I’m a woman. And if you’re a woman too, I think you’ll also resonate more with ATSS. ATSS portrays the suffering of women in Afghanistan during the Soviet’s occupation and under the Taliban and it makes you realise how damn blessed you are for having access to education and for living in a country at peace.
It’s a brutal, but great history lesson and it’s a book that I would recommend to anyone. It’s the kind of book that literally changes you, humbling you by showing you the pain and the struggle of the world. It’s scary how precious and delicate our safe world really is and how fast can our carefully planned lives change without us being able to do anything about it.
What are some books that made you cry like a baby? Tell me in the comments.