Day 14 – Book that made you cry

BeautyBeauty LionGenerally, I cry more at films than I do books – and when I was younger I always cried at films. You name it: BambiDumboBeauty and the Beast – yep, Disney got me every time – they bump off a lot of cute animals and nice characters in those films – it’s pretty harsh! As I got older, I graduated to crying at things like Titanic – yep, pretty much from when they went into the water, to when Rose unstuck their frozen hands and let Jack float away. I cried so much in the cinema watching that for the first time, that my then boyf refused to walk out into the lights with me – I’m cool, eh?

Anyway, I’ve obviously gotten tougher as I’ve grown up – sit me in front of a Disney film these days, and I’ll only sniffle as the little old lady passes away in Up, or when Flynn/Eugene buys the farm in Tangled.

The thing is, when you cry when you’re reading, you can’t actually read – that becomes a problem, whereas a film continues unrelenting, as you blub into your popcorn. But, that said, there are some books that have made me cry:

Mocking Jay – *spoiler* This possibly seems an odd one, and perhaps it’s not the part you think of immediately (Prim). The bit that got me was when Peeta is rescued and they find he has been conditioned against Katniss – their first meeting is such as shock and twists your expectations – it definitely raised a sniffle from me, as did some of the ‘real or not real’ conversations afterwards. Not necessarily full-blown bawling, but I found my heart clenching a little, every time one of those moments happened.

Noughts and Crosses – *another spoiler* It’s the ending that got me, because like every cheesy romantic, I wanted love to win the day and make things better. When it doesn’t, it’s realistic, almost expected – but it broke my heart a little for the characters and the hope that I’d had for them. This has stayed with me still, so that I’ve not managed to continue reading the series, despite them being sat on my bookshelf. I really liked this book for the ideas it raises, and the author’s style – it’s just hard to go back into that world, when a character I loved isn’t there anymore.

MarleyHands down, the book that made me cry so much I had to stop reading (multiple times) was Marley and Me. If you’ve watched the film, but not read the book, you might think I’m mad (the film didn’t get to me btw, because it’s very different from the book and focuses on the comedy, rather than some of the deeper, emotional aspects of being a dog owner).

Bonnie

Bonnie

In the book, towards the end, you see the gradual deterioration of Marley’s health and the ongoing emotional struggle of the owner as he goes back and forth to the vets. Marley’s life had, until that point, rolled alongside theirs: as they grew together as a couple, matured and had children of their own – he was part of those changes and their relationship in a way that nothing else but a dog could be. One of the most touching parts of the book is where the wife has to spend several months in bed, during a pregnancy to avoid going into early labour – through that whole time Marley spends his days lying on the floor beside her. He’s a difficult dog, that’s for sure, but he also loves his owners and when it comes to the end of his life, these are the parts that stick with them: the changes in their lives, the good and the bad, that Marley was with them for. A dog is for life, in every possible way.

And so that’s why Marley and Me made me cry, more than any other book ever has. As a dog owner myself, it made me realise what I had to come, when that part of your world goes away. It’s even tougher than it seems when you read it in a book.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Day 14 – Book that made you cry

  1. I could never read Marley & Me just for that reason. Tearing up now just reading your post. There’s a Dean Koontz “The Darkest Night of the Year” that deals with a dog dying, and I know I’d bawl at that as well if I ever read it.

    I’ve just finished “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness. On the surface, a child’s book complete with illustrations. By the end, I was practically bawling.

    My wife and I went to watch “Up” and the most heart-breaking ten minutes of film we’ve ever seen is right there at the start. I cried less when I watched Schindler’s List!

    • mel

      ‘Up’ is probably the hardest opening to a film I’ve seen recently, although the most difficult was ‘Saving Private Ryan’.

      I was a A-level student when it came out and we went to see it in the middle of the afternoon. The cinema was pretty quiet, although there were several older men there to see it, dotted around the theatre, who I would have guessed were of an age to have served during WWII. The opening scenes are just such a full on assault of all that is hellish and unhuman about war – which really struck me anyway – but what really brought it home to me was seeing several of these older men in absolute pieces as they watched. I spoke to one of them as we were leaving, and just as I guessed, he had served and had actually been part of the D-day landings. He said it was scary how close to reality to the film was – compared to the war films that used to come out.

  2. The exact same part of Mockingjay got to me too, I’m glad I’m not the only one! I was distraught, LOL.

    Same goes for Noughts and Crosses, that absolutely crushed tweenager me’s soul!

    • mel

      It’s strange how much some particular bits or books get you, isn’t it? i know that some day I’ll have to stop grieving for Callum, I’m just not quite there yet 🙂

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