People read for different reasons. Lovers of non-fiction are absorbed by history or science or politics – or whatever topic draws their interest. Lovers of the novel vary just as much, with some drawn to science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, love – there are many genres in fiction.
Some readers, more often women – but not exclusively – like novels that give them a good cry. My first novel was described as a multi-tissue purge by one reader!
In Autumn Colors, for example, the main character suffers a tragic loss. A review by Foreword Clarion described it this way:
“This is the story of Kerry Waite, a resilient heroine who cannot let go of Tom, the first man she ever adored, even after his fateful death forced them apart thirty years ago. Unable to bond with her husband, Charles, in a twenty-year marriage, she must face her inner resistance to love again and embrace the companion in her present life, rather than lingering with a ghost in her past. A memorial service for an elderly acquaintance brings Kerry’s emotion to a climax in this introspective novel told in time-travel sequences. Speeding back to 1968, then into the 1970s and 1980s, Lajeunesse takes the reader on a journey to the depths of a passionate woman’s soul in a touching delivery. Though marketed as a romance, this book is steeped in agonizing realism. A simple funeral turns into a situational catharsis, triggering an outpouring of memories and painful self-realizations for the protagonist. This talented author knows how to evoke emotion, so much so that delving into her work hurts.”
For a reader who likes to slip into a novel and feel what the heroine is feeling – and possibly to provide an outlet for the readers own feelings, the emotion in Autumn Colors does just that.
Likewise, in In Her Mother’s Shoes, Meredith, the main character is closed off from her real feelings. This novel is part love story, part family saga. She begins to see her own emotional limitations as she learns more about her mother’s secretive past. Her softer inner self emerges as she encounters a number of painful challenges. We see a woman who feels and loves deeply, a woman capable of forgiveness and appreciation for the gifts in her life.
Both novels evoke emotion and contain lessons about the value of life and the importance of not wasting it. The satisfying, “happy” endings speak to the escapism appeal of a novel for many readers.