I mentioned not too long ago that Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games was the first book in a while that made me all out weep. And we were talking about sad books in the comments on Wednesday's post about Beth Kephart's Nothing but Ghosts. There are lots of books that try (unsuccessfully) to tug at my heartstrings (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer is one that comes to mind) but only a few that engage me so much and involve me so much emotionally that the tears just flow. Here are a few of them (all five star picks AND award winners).
Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
This is the story of Kivrin, a history student in 2048 who is transported to an English village in the 14th century on the eve of the Black Death. Meanwhile, there is an epidemic going on in the 21st century which may leave Kivrin stranded in time. Kivrin is taken in by a “contemp” family and learns firsthand more than she ever wanted to know about the plague. I’ve read this at least 5 times, and it never fails to make me cry. (Hugo and Nebula Awards)
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The less you know about this book going in, the better. All I knew when I started reading was that it took place at Hailsham, an elite school in the English countryside, where the pupils are told they are special. How special is something both they and the reader discover during the course of this heartbreaking dystopia. (Booker Prize Shortlist)
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
This is “Stockholm Syndrome” at its’ best. When a birthday party to honor a visiting Japanese industrialist is stormed by a ragtag band of terrorists in an unnamed South American country, a group of over 50 people, including a world-renowned soprano is taken hostage. But as the days, weeks, months go by, captors and hostages (and the reader) begin to form unlikely bonds. (PEN/Faulkner Award)
The Tiger Rising by Kate Dicamillo
In this middle grade novella (and National Book Award finalist), 12-year-old Rob Horton finds a caged tiger in behind the run down motel he lives in with his father since his mother’s death. It’s a story about coming to terms with grief and being honest with yourself. It touched me deeply.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Narrated by death, this touching, original, and powerful novel is set in Nazi Germany, but with a focus on the hardships of ordinary Germans. It’s the story of Liesel who learns to read as a teen and discovers the power that books have to feed the soul. (Printz Honor Book)
So tell me, what books made you weep? I need some good suggestions!