The saddest book you’ve ever read…
It took me several tries to get through it – I mean like over months. One awful heartbreaking thing after another.
@Brenda yes. It was awful. But as much as it is the one of the saddest books I have ever read, it is also one of the funniest.
The light between oceans. Hated that book
Oh i don’t know, count of monte cristo made me really weepy🤓
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Definitely. Only book I ever read that made me sob.
I loved that book.
Me Before You destroyed me
When Breath Becomes Air
That would be my vote too.
Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy
The boy called It
A child called it
Lilly and the ocopus The art of racing in the rain Any Khaled Husseini book! The tears were always strong with those When a monster calls All the bright places
These were not my favorite, but did make me cry Me before you The fault in our Stars
I’ll check my library to update the list
Tie between When Breath Becomes Air and Push.
Out of the Dust
I just finished All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and it killed my soul last night
Great…. I’m reading it right now and was already dreading the end…..
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron.😔
Bright side by Kim Holden
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Unable to continue reading it.
Me before you… It impacted me more than the movie did
The Road…Cormac McCarthy
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Those who will save us
Oh. Yes – Kiran Maheen has a great list. A Monster Calls makes me weep just thinking about it and I read it several years ago.
Did you see the movie? It was equally heart breaking
Yes. They did a good job keeping true to the emotions and the story. So sad.
Me before you. When breath becomes air.
A fine balance
i loved that book 😂
I loved it, too, and the ending was perfect, but so sad.
@Stacy i read it in my english class this year and my teacher made it so easy to understand cause without all the punctuation
That book gave me nightmares for weeks. So sad but could happen.
The Lovely Bones. Sobbed reading it on an airplane.
That’s next on my list!
Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis. NEVER read this book. It’s too, too distressing.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
THE ABYSS by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. A family feud in 1830s Britain almost leads to its dissolution. (This is a family – the Morlands – that traces its lineage back to the mid-15th century and created its wealth over time.) Reading this novel depleted me, emotionally.
Of Mice and Men
Me Before You
A child called It
Beautiful funeral by Jamie McGuire
Eleanor & Park, Me Before You, and many more 😂
A Little Life
Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison
Daddy’s little earner
Two kisses for Maddie
“Where the Red Fern Grows” in fifth grade. Or “The Remains of the Day.” Both devastating in totally different ways.
I’ve never read Where the Red Fern Grows because I know I’ll be a hot sobbing mess.
Can’t. Do. Dogs. Dying.
When Breathe Becomes Air
The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley
Just finished this! So good!
The only book that made me cry at the end.
My sisters keeper, hated the movie but the book made me ball my eyes out
Thousand splendid suns
Johnny Angel -Danielle Steele
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
“Where the Red Fern Grows”
“A Lesson Before Dying”
Where the red fern grows!!!
Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, by Anthony Marra and Where the Red Fern Grows.
A thousand splendid suns
The Fault in Out Stars, Marley & Me & My Sisters Keeper.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle & Child 44
It is a tie between The Boy in the Striped Pajamas or The Fault in Our Stars.
The Nightingale was so hard, those babies were the same ages as mine.
Agreed. I cried.
I’m reading it now
Night by Elie Wiesel
I try to avoid very sad books but I think the Bridges of Madison county was very sad.
The latest to make me cry – The Fault in our Stars
Love That Dog A kids book..
The Bone People
All the bright places x
Sarah’s key, that book should come with a warning label.
The book thief
I bawled when I read that. 😭
Me too 😭
The Year of Magical Thinking.
Interesting. I just read that book. When I looked up her daughter online, I discovered that Quintana’s health continued to fail. Really heartbreaking.
@Brenda Truly is. You should read Blue Nights which deals with her daughter’s death. It was written after The Year of Magical Thinking. Devastating.
I’ll look it up!
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.
Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Death of a Salesman and A Child Called It
That’s a heavy list. Do you like human tragedy as a genre
@Mohammed The first 3 I studied at school and the last one I was given. I don’t go for human tragedy as a genre usually, it’s just the question asked for saddest books. I do go for books about human stories where they triumph after tragedy or challenge, as I work as a Coach and am interested in that area of psychology too 🙂
Tie between the Green Mile and A Monster Calls
The Good Wife, by Stewart O’Nan.
boy in the striped pajamas
Little Women. I don’t remember the book making me cry, but the PBS special last week made me sob.
Couldn’t finish it.
@Kathy Because it was too sad?
@Mary yes, and too graphic. I did not keep the book. Was it the hardest book you ever read?
Kathy Saragusa Flentie I couldn’t put it down. The subject matter was difficult, at times, but it was so beautifully written. Have you read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan? Excellent book, but the section describing foot binding was probably the most emotionally difficult read I have ever experienced.
Tess of the d’Urbervilles
The Kite Runner
Couldn’t finish it
Tie between A Little Life and Art of Racing in the Rain.
A Little Life was very moving. And Art of racing in the rain. Sigh.
Art of Racing in the Rain just killed me!
omg. On my tbr pile…
My sister’s keeper, the pact, actually anything by Jodi Picoult makes me cry 🙁
Veronika decides to die
Black Hawk Down.
Constellation of vital phenomenon
Where the red fern grows. Little Women.
Where the red fern grows
I was wondering if this would hold up to rereading as an adult. I remember it having a really big impact on me as a kid.
@Liz I still cry. Even watching the movie.
I tried twice to read this. It was tooooo sad for me. It’s my sister’ s favorite book.
The Light Between Oceans!
Kite runner 😢
It was a very disturbing story
@Mohammed, I simply could not finish it. Too graphic for me.
Tie: A Fine Balance and We Were The Mulroneys
The 5 people you meet in heaven
The Phantom of the Opera
Push by Sapphire
Anyone else taking notes on what books not to read??
Tears are healthy for the soul
@Mohammed True, however it seems like sad books stay with me and make me melancholy afterwards as well.
You sound like an empath
Yep! I generally avoid anything that is going to make me cry.
I know it’s a kids book but The Giving Tree
A great one as well
Room. couldn’t handle it.
@MaryClare Could not finish it.
The perks of being a Wallflower
1) Five Smooth Stones 2)The Outsiders
A fellow Five Smooth Stones aficionado!
@Kathy — i read it a jillion years ago. It’s on the reread pile.
@Debra , yes. We probably read it when it was published in 1966. I read White Lotus at that time during our country’s civil rights growth.
The Goldfinch was depressing
The kite runner
@Biya, I simply could not finish it. Too graphic for me.
Yeah it was very very sad. If you read Khalid Hossein’s other 2 books they are also very sad. A thousand suplendid suns mad me cry.
A thousand splendid suns and me before you…
A thousand suplendid suns was very sad
Simply could not finish it
Love this book.
Sarah’s Key is one of them.
I’m reading Sarah’s Key now; having a hard time getting through it.
Boy in Striped Pajamas
Aw yeah that was traumatic!
Could not finish it
Pawn in Frankincense
The Fault is in their Stars
Alan and Naomi
Lois Ruben Gross have you read it???
The Book Thief
Boy in the striped pajamas
Child from the Sea by Elizabeth Goudge. I SOBBED at the end of it, and never read another book by her.
Where the Red Fern Grows.
Yes! I read this in middle school (a loooooong time ago)and still remember how sad it was and crying. Great read though.
The little prince.
The Orphan Master’s Son
Art of Racing in the Rain
“John Adams”, at least the end of it. The man lived into his 80s–everyone he knew died before he did! 🙁 Oh, and the whole being undermined by his own vice president thing.
Also P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahearn
A series of unfortunate events
The saddest and most disturbing book I have ever read is “Lord of the Flies”.
Oh and The Kite Runner.
A Thousand Splendid Suns.
I have read this one.
@Biya, They went back to Afghanistan with such hope. It broke my heart.
Yeah same here. This book was just so sad it made me cry.
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Such a depressing story, but I loved it.
Boy in the Striped Pajamas.
Toss-up between The Orphan Master’s Son and Kite Runner
Our Song by Dani Atkins
Not a book , but a story ; Flowers For Algernon.
I read Flowers for Algernon. it wasnt a book?
I read it as a book, but it may have also been a short story?
Giovanno’s Room by James Baldwin. Seriously, just read it!
Why don’t they ever ask about the happiest books
I like reading sad books better 🤷♀️
Peter’s Lullaby by Jeanne Fowler
Child Called It
That was a tough one!
A fine balance. A little life. Ugly cry books.
Definitely A Fine Balance!
Oh yes, A Little Life for sure!!! I usually forget books pretty quickly because I read so much, but that one has stayed with me and still makes my heart hurt.
Maybe not the saddest ever but the saddest recently was “The Kitchen House.”
I loved that book, but yes, it was very sad.
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
Where The Red Fern Grows….. Might not be as sad today as I was a kid at the time
Not sure… I stay away from the sad ones.
Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell.
My sisters keeper
The Bell Jar. I read it during Christmas break from college. Big mistake.
Oh my goodness- I read that in eighth grade. What was I thinking?!!!
Yep. That’s a once is enough read. A great read, tho.
That might be it. I tried to watch the film a second time, but I couldn’t.
A dogs purpose
The Heart’s invisible Furies
Where the Red Fern Grows
I completely agree! I can’t even reread this book because I know how much it will make me cry.
I tried to read it aloud to my second grade class many years ago. I ended up handing the book off to a student to finish because I just could not go on.
I bought it for my goddaughter for her birthday. I’m trying to make sure she reads all the classics. Hopefully she doesn’t end up hating me for this one. 😉
I was going to choose this one too. Just had to read posts to make sure no one else had mentioned it yet, but I was hoping someone would have. I always find dogs dying much sadder than humans.
@Katrina hmmmmm…I have to agree with you. There are few times I’ve cried over the loss of a human character … maybe because I didn’t connect with them enough???
@Katrina that was a huge spoiler😭😭😭
Treasure in an Oatmeal Box
A Child Called It
Agreed! Read it when I was 14, and I’ve never forgotten his story. It was heartbreaking to think any human, especially a child could endure such treatment and come out sane.
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo is so ridiculously sad that I couldn’t stand it.
Here’s a review I wrote for it.
Read my 3-star review of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
There was a movie years and years ago based on this book … really left a lasting impression .😢
Rosemary Harlen I think the Metallica song ‘One’ also is based on this story!
The saddest song and music video ever too!
The Story teller by Jodi Picoult
The notebook, walk to remember.. Firefly lane
Stephanie.. Loved firefly lane!!!!
One Small Boat by Kathy Harrison
Gut wrenching book!!! 😭
@Stacy i hid my faace from my ex husband i was crying so much when i realized what exactly was going on Lol . I love the movie too, and cry when i watch that.
@Tina I’ve only watched the movie once – never again. Hit too close to home. 😭
Stacy Vessels oh wow. I am sorry Stacy, gut wrenching for sure for you then. The unconditional love amazes me in that story. Dementia, just heart breaking. My uncle had alzheimers young, and died young.
@Tina Both of my maternal grandparents and one of my husband’s grandmas all had Alzheimer’s. 😭
@Stacy such a sad sad disease. I am so sorry. Xo
Also, the book Danielle Steel wrote about her son. *His Bright Light.
The Red Tent
Not for me. Too much sadness already in the world.
when breath becomes air by Paul Kalanithi 😢
Charlotte’s Web It was the first book I ever read in which all the characters didn’t live happily ever after.
it’s been on my tbr list😭😭
@Ana I’m so so sorry 😭
it’s okay. let’s just see how everything fits and works in this one.
All the bright places
Ordinary People by Judith Guest. Was an amazing movie too
The innocent man
Chasing nikki, i think that’s the girls name
Suzanne’s dairies to Nicholas
The Light We Lost
The Last Lecture
Also, Bridge to Terabithia (read as a fourth grader)
The fault in our stars and the perks of being a wallflower
Me too. Heart-wrenching.
Message in a bottle
A little life
The Dog Stars by Peter Heller
Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
The kite runner The fault in our stars Looking for Alaska
Sophie’s Choice and Anne Frank’s Diary
The House of Sand and Fog
The Butterfly House, Marcia Preson
Have you read the sequel?
@Karin THERES A SEQUEL?
Witch of Cologne by Tobsha Learner (but still great in parts)
Legend of a Suicide – David Vann
Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Bluest Eyes
Swimmer in the Secret Sea. But also one of the best books I’ve read. A novella.
My Sister’s Keeper would rank pretty high
A Light in the Forest The Yearling Where the Red Fern Grows
The more recent one that moved me to tears, in the sobbing out loud way, was When Breath Becomes Air.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova ❤️❤️😭
Where the Red Fern Grows…and A Little Life
Just Mercy, When Breath Becomes Air, The Art of Racing in the Rain…
Our love beyond the skies by Galuoko Secivo
The diary of Anne Frank
The Grapes of Wrath
the thirteenth tale
Not without my daughter
Between shades of grey
Tuesdays with morrie
আমি তপু – Humayun Ahmed
Humayun ahmed pora hoina bhaia
Marley and Me
The saddest book? Easy! Many years ago, I read ‘The Citadel’ by AJ Cronin, thought it was brilliant, so decided to try one of his other books. ‘Hatter’s Castle’ was such a grim, gloomy and depressing story that I was convinced it must surely have a twist in the tale and a happy ending, so I continued to read. After all, the nasty father’s little girl was going to win the scholarship to grammar school wasn’t she, and manage to escape her awful family? Well, there was no twist, no happy ending. In fact, the ending was horrific. The little girl came second in the exams, which wasn’t good enough, so she goes into the kitchen, climbs on the table and hangs herself. Ever since then, I avoid both sad books and sad films!
Best synopsis I’ve read in a while. 8.5/10
Another one for me was On the Beach. I’m from the generation that hid under our desks to “protect us” from an A Bomb. It seemed all too possible that Shute’s scenario could happen. The coke bottle stuck in the window shade destroyed me, but the young parents having to put their child “to sleep” haunts me to this day. “There is still time, brother.” But is there?
The Holy Bible
Murder, rape, genital mutilation, yeah. Not the book for me.
If i stay
Boy in the striped pyjamas 😞
The Kurt Wallender mystery series was very sad, and the last book, THE TROUBLED MAN was awful.
Jude the Obscure
We had to read Thomas Hardy at school and I thought him a most miserable author. When I left school to go to university, I decided to read one more book to give the guy a chance. I chose ‘Jude the Obscure’! 🙁 Aaaagh! I actually love Victorian literature now but I do wish they could have discovered Prozac when Hardy was around! 🙂
Yep. Tess of the D’Urbervilles one of the saddest books ever.
Other hand by Chris Cleave
The Remains of the Day
Most recently it was In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner.
So depressing I had to take breaks while reading it!
The Joy Luck Club — I remember crying at least five different times at different junctures in the story.
Kite Runner. Or Thousand Splendid Suns
I have read both of these books. Both books are very sad
Actually, I found it more depressing than sad.
Sophie’s Choice. Devastating. .
House of Sand and Fog
The color purple
A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Fine Balance by Mistry. Disgrace by Coetzee. Any book where the dog dies.😢
Me before you
The Red Pony
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley. I couldn’t get past page 12. TOO. MUCH. EYE. RAIN!
the Kite Runner
Tuesdays with Morrie
This was THE book for me 💜
Have you read the last lecture…..or when breath becomes air
@Hussain No I haven’t heard of those. I’m opening my Amazon app now lol
These books are along the same line including Tuesdays with Morrie…….but when breath becomes air is the best
@Hussain thank you!!
My Sister’s Keeper and The Art of Racing in the Rain
The art of racing in the rain is from the POV of a dog!!! I really want to read the book but a dog narrating a story is something I don’t know if I could take it
did you have the same issue when you picked up the book
@Hussain -I loved it, but I love dogs. The book is so well done and I really enjoyed it.
I’m a minority here but I hated it. The dog had a better vocabulary than I do and he learned it all by watching T V and just one channel bc he couldn’t change the channel. He, the dog sermonized and was quite enlightened.
Yep. Made me sad and angry for days.
I have several that broke me – The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara..
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
@Tasfia check out 400
Can I add a second one? Bridge to Terabithia.
Of course! As many as you want
Yes! Omg. 😭😭😭😭
My daughter brought it home in grade school middle school and I thought maybe I’ll read it again. Started crying before I even got started. I had not remembered the beginning, that it was an adult writing the story of his memories. Made me look at it in a whole new way as an adult. At the time I couldn’t re-read it. Maybe I’ll try again. I grew up in the country with a lot of wild places around us so it was so easy to be transported into that book.
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