Books Like The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Books Like The Ballad of the Sad Cafe

Some people read books to uplift themselves or escape from daily life's stress. Books open up gateways to new and different worlds where readers can get caught up in epic adventures or see the ordinary from a different perspective. However, some books like The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers are more likely to leave readers in tears. This is not necessarily a bad thing, though, as crying releases oxytocin and endorphins, which can ease both physical and emotional pain. Reading books that cause crying can be a cathartic process, which is good for readers who have been keeping difficult feelings bottled up inside. For more stories that are sure to bring some tears to your eyes, check out the following heartwrenching books like The ballad of the Sad Cafe.

Shuggie Bain

by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Shuggie Bain is the debut novel of Douglas Stuart and is a story that centers around love and addiction. It is set in Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1980s, when unemployment and drug addiction were rife. Hugh "Shuggie" Bain is a young boy who grows up in the run-down public housing of this era. Most of the money that the family has to live on comes from each week's benefits, which his mother, Agnes, increasingly drains away on alcohol. As his older siblings find ways to get away from their mother, Shuggie is left to care for her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. The story follows Shuggie all the way from his childhood to his teen years, and the subject matter ensures that readers will shed plenty of tears along the way.

A Little Life

by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life by Hanya Yanigihara

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is the story of four college friends who move to New York searching for fame and fortune. One of them, Jude, is a man scarred by unspeakable childhood trauma. Yet, the group remains friends over the decades even as they individually deal with addiction, success, and pride. They also remain devoted to Jude even though they realize that they know very little about his past or even the accident that severely limited the use of his legs. Unlike other sad novels where tragedy only strikes towards the end, A Little Life is a heartwrenching read throughout.

Second Chance Summer

by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson is the story of Taylor Edwards and her family. Although they all get along just fine, they are not precisely close-knit. However, when her dad receives the devastating news that he has cancer, he decides that he wants to spend one last summer together with everyone at their old lake house. The seventeen-year-old Taylor has not been at the Pennsylvania lake house since she was twelve, and the place is much smaller and more rustic than what everyone remembers. In addition to dealing with her father's illness Taylor also has to face her estranged best friend and her first boyfriend when she returns to the lake house. This gives Taylor not just a second chance with family but also friends and with love.

All Your Perfects

by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover is a heartbreaking novel about a damaged couple whose potential future hangs in the balance. Although Quinn and Graham are in love, their marriage is threatened by the memories, mistakes, and secrets they have built up over the years. As these threaten to tear them apart, they discover that the one thing that could save their marriage could also be the very thing that pushes it beyond the point of repair. The book is split into chapters set in the past that demonstrate the bond between Quinn and Graham as well as the present while their marriage is collapsing. The result is an emotional rollercoaster that has left many readers in tears.

The Home for Unwanted Girls

by Joanna Goodman

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman is the story of Maggie Hughes, who becomes pregnant at the age of fifteen. She lives in Quebec in the 1950s, and the situation between the French and English who live there is precarious. Since the father of her child is a poor French boy on the next farm over, Maggie's parents force her to give the baby up for adoption. Her English father believes that this will get Maggie's life back on track. However, Maggie never forgets baby Elodie, who is raised in Quebec's impoverished orphanage system, where she withstands abysmal treatment. At age seventeen, she finally earns her freedom, but at this point, Maggie is married to a businessman eager to start a family. Eventually, Maggie searches for her long-lost daughter to reclaim the truth that has been denied them both.