My Year of Rest and Relaxation
Moshfegh’s narrator seems to have the perfect life: she’s beautiful, has a degree from Columbia University, works as a gallery girl in a cool Chelsea art gallery, and owns an apartment in the Upper East Side. Except that the money she used to buy the apartment came from her inheritance, as both of her parents died in quick succession. In an attempt to ignore the demons in her life, she finds a hack psychiatrist who prescribes her enough medication to sleep indefinitely and begins her year of rest and relaxation.
Louisa Clark, the heroine from Me Before You, is back and starting a new job in New York. While part of her will always miss her former employer, Will, she knows he would want her to keep moving forward. As she begins working as an assistant to a rich businessman’s second wife, she thinks things are finally beginning to go her way—until a secret comes out that tears her world apart.
Women in Sunlight
Kat Raine is a writer living in Tuscany and is determined to complete the book she’s been working on about her recently deceased friend. When three American women—all dealing with losses of their own—come to the town where she’s staying, she quickly befriends them and decides to add their stories to the novel she’s writing.
Lincoln in the Bardo
It’s the beginning of the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln’s beloved son, Willie, has become terribly ill. He dies unexpectedly and ends up in the bardo, a place which is neither heaven nor hell, but an in-between space where ghosts mingle and discuss the latest gossip and their past transgressions. While most children end up in this transitional space for mere minutes, Willie doesn’t seem to be leaving—causing a struggle over his soul.
Losing a loved one is never easy, and it’s often difficult to find someone who understands exactly what you’re going through. Having recently lost a close family member, I had a hard time coping, but, as usual, books have been there to help me get by. These books about loss feature characters who are grappling with death in vastly different ways; I hope they remind you that you aren’t alone.
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