Warning: these books are SAD

However, they are really good and sometimes I’m in the mood for sad. But be sure to give your loved ones a warning: I shall be melancholy for the next few days (for some reason I apparently like to give this warning in a psuedo-Madonnaesque accent)

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

This is a novel based on the life of “Typhoid Mary” and if you can put yourself in a time where the idea of being “asymptomatic” didn’t make any sense to a young uneducated woman, then you will feel huge sympathy for her even as she continues to cook for children!

Sidenote: Recently a “letter to the editor” of the NYT Book Review took exception to the use of the word “quarantine” in their review of this book. The letter writer felt that the correct word should have been “isolation.” Apparently there’s a HUGE difference?

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian

A novel centered on the mass murder (many would say genocide) of the Armenian people by the Turks during WWI. It’s a love story and a history lesson perfectly combined.

Keepsake by Kristina Riggle

A novel about a woman whose hoarding becomes so out of control that CPS threatens to take away her child if she doesn’t make drastic changes. The protagonist (like many of the real Hoarders we see on TV) is not likeable, but as the story unfolds you see how hoarding comes from pain and is often triggered by a tragic event that gets hidden beneath all the piles.

Each of these stories gave me a little more knowledge and a little more sympathy, so I’m glad I read them, even if at times they broke my heart.

– Jen


One Response to “Warning: these books are SAD”

  • Ben C. Says:

    The mention of quarantine and sad novels mad me think of Jim Crace’s book, The Pesthouse, about a young woman who survives a weird natural disaster that kills her whole village because she was isolated for a plague. It’s layered and spooky, and very very sad.