Books can take us to places inside our minds and bodies that we weren’t even aware existed. Nothing can steer our emotions more and move us deeper than an emotional, heartbreaking story. There’s something about those heartbreaking books that makes us sit still after finishing the last page, contemplating life and gathering little pieces of our hearts. It’s all about the passion, the rawness, and the emotions we’re not capable of controlling.
Heartbreaking stories aren’t necessarily romantic love stories. Although this topic gets us every time, there are other instances of human existence tackled by some of the most exceptional pieces of literature ever written.
So, if you’re looking for something to touch your soul, leave you heartbroken, and change your perspective, look no further. Here are the 7 heartbreaking books that will change your life.
1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
An unlikely friendship between Amir, the son of a wealthy merchant, and Hassan, the son of his father’s servant, leaves us breathless as we witness how they part ways.
Set in Afghanistan, in the times of destruction and tragedy, the story of two boys doesn’t end with their last encounter.
As Amir is forced to flee the country with his father, he takes a secret with him, and the guilt for a mistake once made never stops haunting him. But, will he find a way to redeem the betrayal he once committed and will he ever be able to forgive himself?
The story shows the real power of father-son love, the unbearable pain of guilt, and the inevitable need for redemption.
It’s a heartbreaking classic that will change you forever.
2. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
Who is to say what we can and cannot feel? And why is love so often constrained by age or circumstances?
In this story about an Iowa farmer’s wife, Francesca, and her encounter with a National Geographic photographer Robert, we learn so much about love in its essence and the strength with which it hits us.
A random encounter will take the two people places they believed they were no longer allowed to go, but the passion and the desire are undeniable.
But, what happens after Francesca’s family comes home from the State Fair?
This moving and erotic story about choices, raw emotions, and life itself teaches us so much about the unpredictable aspect of life and the uncontrollable power of love.
3. Father Unknown by Lesley Pearse
This story about a young girl trying to figure out who she really is will take us on a journey we won’t forget.
After Daisy’s mother passes away, she finds out she was adopted and decides to search for her biological family. In her search for the answers, she drops everything and starts digging through her past.
However, the more she learns about her family’s history, the more horrified she is the with the greed and wickedness rooted in their past.
So, is the story of her real parents something she really wants to know about? And what will happen with her relationship to her dad, the only person she truly loves?
It’s a moving story about identity, struggles, family history, and the secrets the hero might regret revealing.
4. The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
It’s the late 1930s and a young Jewish student of architecture named Andras Levi leaves his home country Hungary to study in Paris. A single encounter with a woman changes everything for him, but so do the dark times ahead. As the war grows stronger, his faith is determined by things neither he nor his loved ones can control.
As he and his brothers part ways, struggling to survive, their destinies unveil in front of our eyes. This story perfectly portrays how historical events affected and shaped the lives of ordinary people, who we grow so close to in this book.
It is a story about the perseverance of the human soul, the strength of a family, and the terrors of a war.
5. Baltasar and Blimunda by José Saramago
It’s the 18th century Portugal and magical circumstances surround the construction of the Convent of Mafra.
An unconventional priest named Bartolomeu de Gusmao has a vision to build the first ever flying airship. He chooses Baltasar, who’s just been dismissed from the Portuguese army, and Blimunda, a prophetess with the ability to see what others can’t, to help him build it.
The love story unfolds as the two grow closer, but unpredictable and disastrous occurrences surround it. The machine does fly, but what happens to our two main characters?
6. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
When a twenty-six-year-old girl named Lou takes the job of a caretaker for a quadriplegic named Will, the story of love and hardship begins to unwrap.
Lou’s time with Will starts out roughly due to his bitterness and self-pitying. Stuck to a wheelchair after a motorcycle accident, Will loses the will to live and sees no point in spending his days the way he does.
However, Lou is determined to change his perspective, and as the two grow closer, they both experience changes in heart and mind. Even though Lou is intended to help Will, he too manages to reach the bottom of her soul and help her fight her own demons.
It is a heartbreaking story of two people struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
7. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
An unlikely friendship puts a twist on the life of a grumpy retiree used to living alone and isolated.
Ove is a 59-year old widower, living alone in a townhouse neighborhood. He has a strict routine and expects everyone to follow along. However, the neighborhood doesn’t seem to be too enthusiastic about his rules and policies.
Struggling with depression and wanting to be left alone, Ove has to deal with a noisy family that moves in next door. But, things soon start to change for him.
Despite the comedic aspect of the story, the book will leave you heartbroken for sure.
So, there you have it. If you’re ready to have your heart broken by an unforgettable story, choose any of the books from the list and you won’t regret it.
What book heartbreaking books have you read? Let us know in the comments below!
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