30 Day Book Challenge – Day 4

Book that makes you cry

As a rule, I like to read books that make me feel good, not sad or unhappy.  It’s partly why I love fantasy fiction so much, in that it allows me to escape the harsh truths of reality and enter worlds where magic happens.  It’s also the great thing about fiction, where the author has the creative license to make sure that everything turns out okay in the end, and generally speaking, it does.

In any case, every now and then I hear so many good reviews about a book not of the fantasy genre that I decide I simply must read it and see what all the fuss is about.  Sometimes this results in me being glad I spread my literary wings as I discover something amazing outside of fantasy.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  A great deal of the time it sends me running to my bookshelf, grasping desperately for a Harry Potter book or The Lord of the Rings, ready to re-immerse myself into lands where “stupefy!” will render my enemy temporarily immobile, or where I have a guardian wizard by the name of Gandalf who makes cool fireworks to brighten the night sky.  Happy days.

One such time that sent me running to my bookshelf, but not before I cradled my knees in the corner, rocking back and forth and weeping with sorrow, was Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.  I have great respect for this woman after discovering that she wrote the book during NaNoWriMo, something I’m looking forward to participating in this year.  It really is a beautifully written story, but honestly, I just couldn’t get past the cruelty to animals part of it.  If there’s one thing I can’t stand in this world, it’s the abuse and/or neglect of animals, and I find reading/watching/hearing about it very difficult.  I can’t even watch animated movies about animals because I know there’s always one that will be trapped or hurt or die and will have me blubbering like a baby.

The cruelty to the elephant in this book was just too much for my weak, animal spirited heart to bear.  And it was one of those things where I just knew that even if everything turned out okay in the end, the damage was already done.  *Cue more weeping*

So yes, this book made me cry, a lot.  And by the end I didn’t feel much better about it either.  *Spoiler Alert* The old man got to go back to the circus, but ultimately he was still rejected and abandoned by his family! Too sad…too sad I tell you!

~storytelling nomad~

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7 comments on “30 Day Book Challenge – Day 4

  1. Gah! I can’t handle cruelty to animals either. It was on my reading list, and now it’s not. If I want a book to make me cry, I want it to be from an emotional connection to what the characters are going through. And I want it to be brief (the crying part). The third book in Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, Iron Kissed, had me tearing up at one point, and that kind of emotional pull impressed me.

    • I totally agree. Robin Hobb’s books have a few incidents where animals are hurt or killed, but somehow it isn’t so brutal (although I will still shed a tear!). And it’s definitely never drawn out to the point where you feel utterly helpless about it. I haven’t read any Patricia Briggs…perhaps I should check them out.

      • :-D As you love Robin Hobb, I love Patricia Briggs. The first book is Moon Called. Btw, the library has received my request for Assassin’s Apprentice and it shall be in my possession shortly.

      • In that case, I’ll definitely be checking it out. Oh my! I’m quite excited for your upcoming Robin Hobb experience.

        I’m also mildly anxious that you (and anyone else who I’ve recommended it to i.e. everyone I know) won’t like it and you will all cast me out as an inferior book reader and smite me with your fury!! Uh oh!

        I really hope you like it…!

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