Sometimes we simply need a book to get us back in touch with humanity. Reading a book that touches the heart, can have a life-changing effect upon us. Stories of pain, tragedy, and hardship remind us that the human spirit is both breakable and incredibly resilient. Here are three novels that settle in your heart, and leave you thinking about the important things in life.
‘Beloved’ by Toni Morrison
Sethe is suffering slavery in America when the authorities arrive to take her children away. In panic and despair, Sethe makes the decision to murder her baby, rather than to have her baby grow into life as a slave. As Sethe tries to move on in life, Beloved (her dead daughter) makes appearances in her life. Whether haunted by ghost or memory, Sethe is left to live with her decision. Inspired by a true event, Toni Morrison uses the real-life horrors of slavery to write a novel that challenges our consciences.
‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ by Khaled Hosseini
In war ravaged Afghanistan, there are women living under patriarchy who experience misogyny and abuse on a daily basis. Their rights are limited, and their choices are predetermined for them. Arranged marriage is just one way that these women are controlled by a society that objectifies women. This story of female friendship takes us to the battleground where the two wives of one man form an unlikely bond. With sisterly-like love and respect, they fight for each other in a country that is determined to break them.
‘Norwegian Wood’ by Haruki Murakami
At the heart of this novel is friendship. Through friendship, different types of love is experienced, and it is this love that leads the characters to go to extraordinary lengths to support each other while suffering various mental illnesses. Through the protagonist, Toru Watanabe’s eyes, we encounter intriguing and mysterious characters who bring pain and pleasure into his life. As the characters share in each other’s hardships, Watanabe’s altruism sends him into a spiral of confusion and depression, which he must overcome if he is to survive.
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