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You know that heart-achingly wonderful, bittersweet feeling you get when you finish an incredible book? I want more of that in my life.

(136 Posts)
SpaghettiBologneighs Thu 21-Mar-13 21:56:51

That feeling you're left with when you've been utterly immersed in another life or another universe. I've just finished a wonderful series. Not high literature by any stretch, but beautifully written with characters who lived and breathed and moved me. I finished with my eyes full of tears and I feel bereft, but in a good way smile.

I want more of that in my life. What books have left others feeling this way?

hairyqueenofscots Fri 22-Mar-13 21:32:51

have just started 'the long song' andrea levy, and i can't put it down, anybody else read it?

perplexedpirate Fri 22-Mar-13 21:44:41

Brideshead Revisited. That last conversation between Charles and Julia is like a punch to the heart.
Every time.

WormCanner Sat 23-Mar-13 11:47:23

RemusLupin Why were you disappointed? Was it because you were expecting something different from what it was?

BiscuitMillionaire Sat 23-Mar-13 11:53:47

Stand-out book for me was The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver - astonishingly original and gripping. Just brilliant.

Stropzilla Sat 23-Mar-13 12:01:19

The Stand had that effect on me! I worried about the characters even when not reading. Get the uncut version. Also Only Forward byMMichael Marshall Smith.

I was disappointed because I thought it was a waste of time. It was just a silly little padded out thing and added nothing to my love of Roland and his Ka tet. Style over substance and King should be ashamed of himself for it imo.

Agree that, 'Brideshead Revisited' is lovely - but the ending isn't as haunting as, that of, 'A Handful Of Dust' for me.

WormCanner Sat 23-Mar-13 17:42:04

Yes, I think some people were disappointed that The Wind Through The Keyhole didn't really feature Roland & the ka-tet. I didn't mind that, because I was soon drawn in by the central story which was almost like an old-fashioned fairy tale. I loved it.

valiumredhead Mon 25-Mar-13 16:43:33

I felt bereft when I finished We Need to talk about Kevin, I thought I'd never read again!

Poledra Mon 25-Mar-13 16:54:40

The Summer of my German Soldier - yes yes yes! Along with FORMIDABLE, I always remember the bit about the difference between aptitude and ability - strange the things that stick in your head.

The Tawny Man series was brilliant too. And The L-shaped Room. Does anyone remember My Darling Villain, by Lynne Reid Banks? I so wanted to be Kate.

BookFairy Mon 25-Mar-13 18:19:20

valiumredhead Yes! I finished We Need To Talk About Kevin quite late at night and the next day I couldn't stop thinking about it.

GetOeuf Mon 25-Mar-13 18:28:33

I remember the heartbroken joy when I said goodbye to Darrell in Malory Towers when I was about 8. Similarly the end of Veronica at the Wells when she gets with Sebastian. I was a bit of a twat of a child, admittedly.

As an adult it has been very rare to be so emotionally invested in a novel, but have felt it most at the end of Amber Spyglass (just the thought of Lyra and Will sitting on that bench), Charlotte Grey (those poor children in Drancy), Bring Up the Bodies (the brilliance of the plot for the 4 players downfall and just the beauty of how it was written) and Silas Marner (Eppie's golden curls and the love they had for each other).

Sephy Mon 25-Mar-13 19:42:41

Thanks so much for this thread - I'm reminded so easily of childhood / teenaged moments like this (one more random one - was anyone moved by Galaxarena as a youngish child?) but have rarely felt this as an adult. Off to finish my Noel Streatfeild I bought this weekend (saplings) with fingers crossed for this kind of love.

AuldAlliance Mon 25-Mar-13 19:58:40

Oh, yes, the Poisonwood Bible. I got really caught up in that.
And almost all Margaret Atwood.
We read Sunset Song at school as part of the Highers syllabus and some of the passages are still really vivid in my mind.
I seem to remember that Middlesex (Eugenides) had me fairly gripped for a while.

It's so long since I had that oddly happy yet sorrowful, empty feeling after finishing a book. Am hoping that when the kids are older I'll get back to reading other than for work...

CoteDAzur Mon 25-Mar-13 20:08:42

Dune and its first 3 sequels - Frank Herbert
Hyperion and its sequels - Dan Simmons
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

I don't know how close you will be to tears (don't do much crying while reading myself) but you will find in the books above epic stories of fine detail, brilliantly imagined worlds that are fantastical but credible, and characters that come alive.

marzipananimal Mon 25-Mar-13 20:50:03

Ooh I LOVE that feeling too. Yes to I Capture The Castle. Also Cloud Atlas and Lord of the Rings. I think maybe the first time I had it as a child was with a Michael Morpurgo book - King of the Cloud Forests or something

CoteDAzur Mon 25-Mar-13 21:01:39

Oh yes please to Cloud Atlas.

And of course we can't forget This Thing Of Darkness.

Both epic stories. Guaranteed immersion.

coffeeinbed Mon 25-Mar-13 21:03:43

It was Alias Grace for me.
Love that book.
Also The Siege of Krishapur.
Must re-read soon.

Melfish Mon 25-Mar-13 21:07:32

Most of the books by Daphne du Maurier do that for me. I feel like coming up for air at the end, they are so absorbing.

CardinalRichelieu Mon 25-Mar-13 21:13:18

I fucking love Restoration. It's brilliant. Also Bring Up The Bodies is really incredible. When Mantel was getting slated in the press for the Kate Middleton comments I thought 'I don't give a toss. She wrote BUTB. She is amazing'.

The Poisonwood Bible is amazing too, Atonement, THe Sea by John Banville I loved. The Remains of the Day breaks my heart. The Accidental by Ali Smith is brilliant and surprising.

Less profoundly brilliant but still loved them and couldn't put them down - all the C J Sansom Shardlake books, The Other Boleyn Girl (film was so shit tho), any Rumpole yarn makes me happy, and Snobs by Julian Fellowes is so true.

Bumperlicious Mon 25-Mar-13 21:50:16

Great thread. I loved The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. A lot of Wharton's books are bittersweet (don't read Ethan Frome) but the journey is always amazing. Her prose is so beautiful.

SorrelForbes Mon 25-Mar-13 21:59:17

Saplings is a good read but quite dark. Very unlike Noel Streatfeild's children's books.

babybythesea Mon 25-Mar-13 22:03:37

An Equal Music - Vikram Seth.
I enjoyed A Suitable Boy but this one tore me apart.

Also The Map of Love - Ahdaf Soueif. Loved it.

Chubfuddler Mon 25-Mar-13 22:04:41

YY to Brideshead revisited. The Great Gatsby is similarly devastating.

The end of never let me go had the same resonance. As did (I expect to be mocked/jumped on for this) the pursuit of love by nancy Mitford. It really is an extraordinarily well written book.

Essexgirlupnorth Mon 25-Mar-13 22:37:29

Penny Vincenzi's Spoils of Time Trilogy
No Angel
Something Dangerous
Into Temptation
Follows the Lytton family from the early part of the century right through to the 1960's. I got so involved with all the family and was upset when I finished the last book. Might have to read them again.

valiumredhead Tue 26-Mar-13 09:09:12

YY The Poisonwood Bible - fantastic book.

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