Thoughts and other Miscellany

Emotionally charged

I’m just starting to read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes; I read her first novel (The Last Letter From Your Lover) which was reasonable but suffered by comparison with The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell, on a similar theme, which I read immediately afterwards.


One of my managers at work has read Me Before You and was telling me that, very unusually, it moved her to floods of tears. Which (a) made me hesitant about starting this book in public and (b) made me think.

There have been plenty of books which affected me emotionally (most recently probably The Hunger Games – I was very easily upset for the rest of the day) but I don’t often cry; I’m much more likely to cry at a sad part in a film (and as for opera…). I think it’s because I don’t visualise happenings very well from a book (which helps me through the gory parts too); as a result, I can know that something sad is happening but not really be very moved by it. An alternative is that I (unintentionally) read faster through emotional parts which means I don’t pick up everything.

What do you think? Do you cry when reading? Or when watching Simon Boccanegra die on stage after he’s managed to bring peace to the town again/Violetta and Mimi die of consumption/Rodrigo die of a gunshot wound with that beautiful duet music theme coming back? (why yes, I do like my Italian opera composed between 1860 and 1910 and my characters dead in abundance by the end of the opera)


9 thoughts on “Emotionally charged”

  1. I read Me Before You, not expecting that I’d like it. It was an ARC that just arrived. However, I enjoyed it very much. It is touching, but surprisingly, not maudlin.

  2. I don’t cry over books, I don’t think. Now I’ve written that I’m not sure. But no I don’t think I do. But I do cry over films, especially when I can’t move things along with the fast forward button. Fortunately I normally watch on my own so it doesn’t matter. I do laugh out loud at books and often do that in public. I reckon if people think I’m having a good time reading it can only encourage them to try it for themselves.

    1. I find it really interesting that you went straight for the “public” aspect of it. I regularly read on public transport and laugh out loud (usually it’s more of a snort). Definitely agree with you on the positive advertising side of things!

      1. I used to ask my children’s literature students to keep a reading journal and one of them wrote about how she’d made friends with her regular bus driver because she was so often either laughing or crying over her book on the way to University and he was worried about her. (Probably worried she was going to run and up and down the aisle!)

  3. I’m more likely to cry at a film than a book but the latter does happen occasionally. Not floods of tears, though. Don’t think that’s happened since I read The Fox Cub Bold when I was 9? 10?

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