Posted in DEATH

Novels to overcome grief

Four NOVELS and one POEM to overcome

the GRIEF following the DEATH of a loved person


In numerous novels, the main character is facing the loss of a beloved parent or friend. Sharing the grief of the character might help the reader to feel less depressed or alone while dealing with his own mourning.

I recommend you the following five literary works as bereavement support :


The novel of Nina Sankovitch “TOLSTOY and the PURPLE CHAIR – My Year of Magical Reading » (Harper, 2011)

 The author is facing the death of her beloved sister. She wants to overcome her grief by reading a book a day during one year. This is the story of her reading help or bibliotherapy. If you want to know more about this novel, click here.

The novel of Anna McPartlin “The last days of Rabbit Hayes” (St. Martin’s Press, 2015)

 A whole family is facing the last days of Mia, nicknamed Rabbit, who is a daughter, a mother, a sister and a friend  and who is going to die because of a generalized cancer. The feelings of each close character will be described chapter after chapter in this beautiful novel. If you want to know more about this novel, click here.

The novel of Valérie Seguin “Les trois jours et demi après la mort de mon père” (Les Arènes, 2015)

 It is a French novel, but I could not omit to speak about this wonderful book which personally helped me when I was facing the death of my own father. The author is telling the story of her surprising experience during the days which followed the death of her father. In case you understand French, you may click here to see more about this novel.

A poem by William Blake

mentioned here which I read at the burial of my beloved father. The poem reveals a hopeful metaphor for death stating that dead people are crossing a stretch of water from one side to the other, and that they are meeting up lost persons when arriving at the other side.

Should you wish to know more about this English poet, please click here to get biographical information about him.


A novel of Natasha Solomons “The House at Tyneford” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011)

is a great novel about the life of a young Jewish girl during Second World War who must escape her country (Austria) and flee to England where she works as a domestic. She has to overcome separation with her loved ones several times in her life, but there is always a moment where she has to start again and search for happiness despite bad fate.


Other ideas of novels as grief support

In their famous literary work “The Novel Curepublished in 2013 by Canongate Books Ltd. the authors Ella Berthoud and Susan Elderkin propose a novel for each among the five stages identified by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in the mourning process : denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.



And what about the novels which have helped you to overcome grief following the death of a loved one ?

Please let us know and I will add your comments after this article.