At one point or another, we all find ourselves in a position where we just need to forget someone, and let them go for the better. Whether said person has wronged you, they don't help your personal growth, or they completely broke your heart, we have all been there. In order to remove someone from your life, you generally have to undergo the toxic detox, the process of getting rid of everything that brings their face back into your mind, reminding yourself of your worth, and maybe even writing a horrible tragedy that stars them, etc. However, one of the most apparent steps is distracting yourself, and remembering what it means to enjoy your own company. In order to move on, finding different things to fill in the gaps is crucial.
As a recent graduate from high school, I have had my moments of heartbreak, in which most felt detrimental at the time. After having a good cry and deciding I was better off, I filled my spare time with reading. It has always been something I loved, and it doesn't require much skill or energy, so while in my times of despair, I reached for these following novels, all of which managed to change my perspective in some shape or form.
John Jake's, The Bastard
Take it from me, I am no history buff, but I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, which I happened to stumble upon in my mother's collection. It was a hardcover, albeit bright red, but it caught my attention nonetheless, and I decided to give it a read. The print looked very bold and strange against the old pages, unlike today's clean and pristine style of printing, and it made me fall in love, instantly forgetting about the boy who wronged me.
The novel follows a young man by the name of Philippe Charboneau, an illegitimate son of the 6th Duke of Kent, conceived when his father had a love affair with his mother after seeing her perform. After marrying and fathering a legitimate son named Roger, he supports Philippe's mother and intends for him to have half of his inheritance. When the Duke falls ill, Philippe and his mother travel to Kent, England to take his claim of the inheritance, only to be refused. Roger and his mother ignore his right, which causes a stir between the families. Philippe pursues a sexual relationship with Roger's fiancee, creating even more tension. Philippe and his mother are forced to run away to America after hearing word of Roger's intent to kill his half brother, and from there, they run into many hardships as they try to build a new life.
The novel weaves fact and fiction together while educating about the United States before the American Revolution, which I found more interesting than any history textbook. The novel touches on the Boston Tea Party, old 'new' technology, and the undeniable pain endured by innocent fugitives. Even I was surprised when I realized how deeply invested I was in a historical novel.
Despite being informative, do not fear being bored, for Jakes always finds ways to surprise and excite. Just when Philippe seems comfortable, he finds new ways to test and hurt him. He undergoes tearful losses, deceit, and the brutality of his half kin, all because of his status as a bastard. And yet, Philippe manages to find love and the comfort of being accepted as who he truly is, a strong man with good intentions.
I was strongly moved by this novel, and I recommend it whenever possible.
Stephen King's, Bag of Bones
Of course, I couldn't recommend novels without mentioning the king himself. I had heard plenty about the writing legend from my parents, and decided it was about time I checked his work out for myself. In brief, I was completely mesmerized throughout the entire novel, and it took every ounce of self discipline to put it down. It was one of those reads where I started at page one, then in a day or two, I was already half done.
Bag of Bones tells the story of an author plagued with severe writers block after the death of his wife, four years prior. The first few chapters were the most heartbreaking as the main character Mike Noonan recounts his wife's demise, in a numbly devastating manner. I found my chest tightening while reading about his journey returning to writing in the isolation of his lake house, where he is compelled to help young Mattie Devore keep full custody of her daughter Kyra after her husband's untimely death. While battling the wrath of old Max Devore, the insisting spirits in his house, and the crushing impact of being without his wife, Mike discovers a connection between the alarming number of drowned children in the lake over the years and a disturbing crime committed in the past.
While having my heart shattered and placed back together by this novel many times, it reminded me of the fragility of life, and the importance of moving on from loved ones who either left or were taken away suddenly. Despite having never experienced loss at such a great expense, it was as if I knew exactly how it felt just based on King's writing itself.
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I cannot put more emphasis on this recommendation! Trust me, you won't regret this read.
Will Darbyshire's, This Modern Love
Now this recommendation is unique for a few reasons. First, the author does not have hundreds of novels under his belt, however, it doesn't make him any less significant than those previously mentioned. Secondly, Will Darbyshire is an influencer, or Youtuber, who has copious amounts of talent. His videos are solemn, yet hopeful, and I personally believe that is reflected in this piece of work. Finally, this novel is a sort of compilation full of many other stories told by the public.
To explain it properly, Darbyshire asked his viewers questions and offered them several ways to answer said questions directly, or to simply tell their stories of infatuation, love, and heartbreak. It was a very open and inclusive process, one in which I witnessed as it unfolded. Once he chose the most interesting responses, Darbyshire organized them between three sections called 'beginning', 'middle', and 'end', which corresponds with the process of having a crush, a relationship, and the breakup. The little book includes a gallery as well.
As you could expect, he received an array of interesting responses, some enlightening, some heart wrenching, and some downright funny. While being a quick read, I found myself savoring every moment, and longing for more when it was over. The concept is brilliant, and evokes a feeling of common ground between people of all ages and experiences. While serving as entertainment for others, I like to imagine it was a way for the storytellers to find closure in their situations, and know that they aren't alone.
We are creatures who lust for romance and are easily broken down by the process of finding someone to spend this short life with, but these novels have shown me what it means to love and to lose, and to embrace what is important to me.
I have the previously mentioned authors to thank for distracting me and offering me different lives to experience while stuck in my loveless funks.
If you find yourself itching to forget and move on, I hope these three novels can help you do just that! It is easier than you may think.
© 2018 Karleigh Rose