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Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read (For One Reason or Another)
My Son, John: This is about a family torn apart when the son brutally murders his grandmother. This is a powerful book, but it's not an easy read. Told mostly from the perspective of the mother, Liz, this story takes you through the heartache of realizing children can change and become people you barely know. Ultimately, it is an uplifting story of forgiveness and unconditional love, but it's an emotional journey.
Shades of Gray: I've read a lot of novels about the Civil War, but I can honestly say that this book made me cry more than any other. James created such realistic characters that I simply couldn't help but bawl my eyes out when anything terrible happened to them. I swear I must have gone through an entire box of tissues reading this one.
The Eleventh Plague: Stephen Quinn is only fifteen years old and living the life of a salvager after a war that has left most Americans dead. By the time the book opens, he has already lost his mother. Then his grandfather dies and his father slips into a coma after an accident. He ends up in Settler's Landing, where he finds some sense of normalcy, but when a prank goes wrong everything in Settler's Landing is changed forever. Dystopian fiction is tough. There's always lots of death and suffering. I really prefer happier stories.
Beyond the Valley: Sarah Carr's husband drowns when he goes to help after a shipwreck. Pregnant and widowed, she reaches out to her husband's family for help, but they devise a plan to kidnap her and sell her into a life of servitude. This is a frightening prospect. Sarah's was a tough, emotional story to read.
Deliver Me From Evil: This book deals with the topic of human trafficking. It is the first book in a series: all emotional draining reads. Mara is an eighteen-year-old girl who has been enslaved for almost ten years. This book deals not only with a heartrending topic, it delves deep into Mara's state of mind and her lack of self-worth at the hands of someone close to her.
The Innocent: Just as Stephen King did in The Green Mile, Zandri depicts prison life with graphic realism. While a superb story, this one is disturbing.
The Paris Wife: In my review, I actually admitted this was an emotionally draining novel. A novel about Hemingway could be nothing less. There were days I had to put it aside and not read any of it. I simply had to read something happier and lighter.
Johnny One-Eye: This is the story of the bastard son of a whorehouse madam and possibly George Washington. The only reason I struggled with this one is because I found so few characters to like.
Virginia's War (French Letters #1): In this book, the author captures the delicate and sometimes sinister intricacies of little town USA. There was not a single character I cared for in this novel set during WWII. I have the second book in this trilogy, but haven't taken the time to read it yet.
What books were hard for you to read and why?