For many of us who write fiction, at least I know this is true of myself and some of my writing friends, we broach subjects with our fiction that might not be easily discussed in real life. I can write about a character’s difficulties following her rape from her self-medicating to her pushing others away, but only a therapist or close friend could discuss this touchy subject with a real person. Showing a character going through something so heartbreaking and difficult allows the reader and writer to empathize.
With fiction we can allow a reader and even the writers ourselves to live for a bit in the skin of a person who is hurting so we might better understand those around us who are also hurting. I’m not saying all fiction is therapy or designed to enlighten. Fiction is first and foremost written to entertain, but within our entertainment if we can also learn something or experience something, that is an added bonus.
When I think about some of the books that have touched my soul and left their mark. I’m reminded that not everyone reads the same way I do. Some people simply read a book and move on, but others absorb a book until it becomes a part of them. John Hart’s book The Last Child left me feeling raw and vulnerable. It was one of those books that even years after reading it, I still remember parts of the story, and the main character, thirteen-year-old Johnny Merrimon.
Have you ever read a book that affected you strongly? I’d love to hear about it. Share some of your favorites or most memorable books and I’ll share some of mine.
The Truth about Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries
The Demon Duke by Margaret Locke
The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer
Blake Crouch’s Good Behavior and Pines