The tearjerker, they call those kinds of books that for a reason. Sometimes reading hurts. I have a habit of becoming totally immersed in a book, if written well, I feel what the h/h feels. I really seem to go into the world the author has written.
Back in the day I read all kinds of genres, not just romance. But the more life I experienced with all its travails, I slowly started weeding out genres where I wasn’t sure there would be a happily ever after. I had to let go of Stephen King and other horror type authors. Then straight fantasy wasn’t always guaranteed to have a good ending. Then regular fiction was the next to be dropped. I remember one book I read, The Balloonist I think was the title, but I don’t see it on Amazon. The hero was making a trek across the ocean in a hot air balloon and something went wrong. He ended up sabotaging everyone left on board and they all died. That really bothered me, to the point I can still recall the shock. They give me nightmares and it can take days to get over a bad ending. Another one I vaguely recall had the hero die at the end while saving the heroine’s life. She went on to marry someone else. I don’t like those kinds of endings. And that is why I’m almost strictly a romance reader now. I know it will end on an uplift rather than a downswing.
But sometimes, even romance book, when it is written very well and deals with a tough subject matter, can be painful to read. I was reminded of this when I saw an update of Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath posted on GoodReads. I read that book myself years ago and it was very well written and the reading was raw. The hero of the book refused to do any actual fighting during the civil war, a conscientious objector we call them now, though he did enlist with many of his friends. As a result, he was branded a coward and reviled by the town he grew up in by just about everyone, including the woman he had been in love with most of his life. She was especially determined to make sure he paid for his cowardice. But what they didn’t see, that we the reader did, that he was a true hero. And even though it’s a romance and you know that things will end happily, the journey is incredibly sad. Ms. Heath has written a number of books that are truly emotional
I have read a few other romance books where this has happened too. I still remember having my throat close up when I read Tapestry by Karen Ranney. I don’t remember exactly what made me so sad. It’s been years since I read though I do have it as an ebook and must read it again. But while I don’t remember the details, I know I will need to be in the right frame of mind for such an emotional read.
And I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this. One of the drawback of age I think. Like so many other topics I think might be great as I sit at work pondering, they start off with a bang and kind of peter out, but I do want to say that while I don’t find/read that many, despite the emotions they bring up in me while reading, I do love them. I don’t think I could do a steady dose of them, but they can be such a rich reading experience.