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Classics about loss. . .

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Please let me know what comes to mind when you think of a classic (adult or child lit) novel in which the MC's loss and seeking to heal from or integrate loss is the central thrust of the book. . .I am writing a novel in which this is the focus and would love to read a few of the "greats" to see how this theme/motivation is crafted. For some reason I'm drawing a blank.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Lisa
#1 - June 03, 2012, 06:54 PM
Lisa
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BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA is one that comes to mind.  I cried when I read it in 6th grade, and to this day, I still can't get through it without tears!
#2 - June 03, 2012, 07:37 PM
AN EYEBALL IN MY GARDEN, Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
www.LauraWynkoop.com

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Thunderwith by Libby Hathorn is an acclaimed MG book here in Australia. I loved it.
#3 - June 03, 2012, 07:45 PM
I've Got Eyes! - Amicus Ink (August 2018)

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Charlotte's Web--I still get teary when I read it!  Also I Know Where the Red Fern Grows, Ten Good Things About Barney, and the Yearling.
#4 - June 03, 2012, 07:48 PM

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Excellent. Looking forward to reading (and re-reading) some of these. Of course, I'll subsequently have to find some cheerful books to help me deal with the despair!

thanks!
#5 - June 03, 2012, 08:47 PM
Lisa
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A SEPARATE PEACE
A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY
THE OUTSIDERS
#6 - June 03, 2012, 09:03 PM

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I don't think it's old enough to be considered a classic, but a book that comes to mind for me is Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles. In it, the MC, Comfort Snowberger, has to deal with several losses, It's interesting which loss hits her the hardest and why.

God Bless,
Susan
#7 - June 04, 2012, 06:57 AM
susanameyers.com
Susan York Meyers, Children's and YA Author

CaroleB

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The Secret Garden by Fances Hodgson Burnett
A lot of Charles Dicken's books are about loss. (always love to write my dog's name, DICKENS!)
Isn't A Separate Peace about loss? (can't remember author at this moment; is it a classic?)

Will post more as they come to mind.
Carole :)
#8 - June 04, 2012, 07:07 AM

Second CaroleB -- I just finished David Copperfield for the first time, which is fantastic -- you can find the complete text online, so you can read it at work...Of course, I didn't do that, I listened to the audio (just 40 hours or so). You wouldn't have to read the whole 1,000 pages, because the youth stuff is all in the first third.

On a more modern note, I liked Laurie Halse Anderson's novel Catalyst which has the backdrop of a lost mother. In fact a lot of YA novels have a missing parent. AS King's Please Ignore Vera Deitz centers on the girl narrator's loss of her best friend Charlie. Searching for Alaska is really about the same thing, with Alaska being the charasmatic love interest of the narrator. If you like lost girlfriends, then add 13 Reasons Why and Winter Girls. If you want to up the stakes to two parents, try Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (not YA, although I bet a lot of high school kids read it).

And if you prefer to just read about metaphoric loss, as represented by the inability to throw a ball from short stop to first, may I recommend Art of Fielding.

 
#9 - June 04, 2012, 07:59 AM
In Real Life, Tuttle Publishing, Fall 2014

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Jane Eyre....oh, how I love Jane Eyre.....and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
#10 - June 04, 2012, 09:13 AM

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Love Jane Eyre, too, scribblegirl (and of course, Wuthering Heights)  :bunnyrun

What about Gone With the Wind? (does anyone ever still read that? Lot's of loss in it--was my fave as a teenager).
Death Be Not Proud (?) that might be more about dying than grieving loss, can't remember

Carole
#11 - June 04, 2012, 09:21 AM

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Jo Knowle's latest: SEE YOU AT HARRY'S.
Warning: You'll need an entire box of tissues.
#12 - June 04, 2012, 09:31 AM

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ooooh, so many books to put in my "to read" pile! Thanks-

And of course, I just recalled "Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech. . .
#13 - June 04, 2012, 11:13 AM
Lisa
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Mockingbird by Kathy Erskine (and The Absolute Value of Mike by her as well).

#14 - June 04, 2012, 11:46 AM
Just One More Page
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Great Gilly Hopkins - Katherine Paterson. I cry every time.
#15 - June 04, 2012, 01:39 PM

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Wolfie already mentioned BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA but I want to second it because not only is it an amazing book, Paterson wrote it to help her son who was dealing with loss . . .


S
P
O
I
L
E
R

specifically, the death of his best friend.
#16 - June 04, 2012, 03:15 PM

Melissa
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MISSING MAY by Cynthia Rylant. Can't recommend it enough. Beautiful story about recovering from loss.
#17 - June 05, 2012, 07:07 AM
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Pretty much anything by Kate DiCamillo: Edward Tulane, The Magician's Elephant, Because of Winn-Dixie...

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt.

I also just finished A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness, a winner of many awards last year.  It might be too early to call it a classic, but I cried my eyes out.
#18 - June 05, 2012, 02:57 PM
WITCHLANDERS
Lena Coakley
Exquisite storytelling plus atmospheric worldbuilding equals one stunning teen debut. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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I'm with you for "A Monster Calls. .. " - that book made me cry too. Intense.

thanks again for the suggestions1

Lisa
#19 - June 05, 2012, 07:08 PM
Lisa
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David Copperfield. As a child, he loses his father, mother, and younger sibling. Then he loses more people later on.

The Catcher in the Rye. The death of Holden's brother is a big part of the book. Actually, come to think of it, all the Salinger books seem to have a dead brother.

Bambi.

Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson. This one is probably the quintessential "loss" book--it's essentially a long eulogy for man's best friend!

#20 - June 08, 2012, 01:51 PM
Jennifer R. Hubbard
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Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller.....
#21 - June 08, 2012, 05:00 PM

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One of the first books that I remember reading that spoke to this issue (maybe after Charlotte's Web) was A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES. (It's shortish so a good one to add to your list because you can easily read it in a sitting.)
#22 - June 12, 2012, 11:27 PM

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Thanks again. . .lots of tough reading ahead. I may have to intersperse it with comedy and adventure!
#23 - June 14, 2012, 07:11 PM
Lisa
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John Green's THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, a masterpiece of tears and laughter. I suppose his LOOKING FOR ALASKA would count as well.

Also, the current Prinz winner WHERE THINGS COME BACK by John Corey Whaley.

I enjoyed reading all the titles and have put a few in my library queue!
#24 - June 18, 2012, 02:20 PM
MOSTLY THE HONEST TRUTH (HarperCollins 3/12/2019)
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For a more recent novel, try THE SKY IS EVERYWHERE by Jandy Nelson.  :cry2
#25 - June 18, 2012, 07:26 PM

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