This week we’ve been talking about books that make us cry. I racked my brain, trying to remember if I’ve ever cried because of a book … Lori’s Monday post reminded me of several books that feature animals. Don’t get me started — I can’t go there. Besides, Lori already covered that topic.
And then there was Natalia’s ugly crying on Tuesday. OK, I’ve never done that over a book. I can’t think of a one. And I’ve never read the books Susan and Heather describe, so now I’m just feeling weird about this whole bloody topic.
I’m thinking, WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. ME? Then I remember, Oh yeah, I was the kid who read mysteries and horror. Not exactly fodder for crying.
However, now that I’m actually writing this post, a few books do come to mind. Dang, and they have to do with animals. A pox on you, oh books with animals. Why do you make me cry so? Charlotte’s Web — what a shocker. That was my first chapter book and to have Charlotte die! Come on!
And then in high school there was The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams. Oh, jeez. I had to go there — bring up dogs. I vowed I wasn’t going to do that. Oh, double-jeez, Marley & Me just popped into my head too … But the very first book to make me cry? The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Not about a dog, but doesn’t matter, it got to me. And what about Black Beauty?
Now look what’s happened. The floodgates have burst. I’m a sap at heart, it seems.
Let’s move on to books that get us crying in the metaphorical sense. Books that string you up alive with their beauty. Or books that render you weak with envy, sobbing because you wished you’d written them. Or books that sing to a maudlin place inside you because you’re going through a phase (or is that just me?). Here are my winners for each category:
This is one of those plot-less literary novels that is so beautifully written you don’t mind that there’s no plot. Diana Abu-Jaber is the mistress of succulent, sensual foodie writing. Sidenote: Abu-Jaber went on to write a mystery. Why? Because, as she said, “I needed to get me one of those, a plot.” Truth is, plot-less literary is her milieu.
This is the closest thing to a perfect novel I’ve ever read. I don’t know what more to say about this book. It blew me away.
This was the perfect novel at the perfect time: my first year out of college, living in South America, working my first (so-called) career job. Oh angst and depression, Plath sings your praises! Nah, but the symbolism of the bell jar meant something to me. Meant as in meant, as in I totally got it, man, because I was deep and I was full of the blues.
Who are your winners in my three categories? Can you remember the very first book that made you cry?