Books have long been considered a panacea for grief.
Even the Ancient Greeks inscribed the entrance to a library as a “healing place for the soul”.
For me, it is not what they say that provides the most help, it is the sense of escape they offer; a moment of stepping away, a suspension of time, where the hurt and loss of the present cannot scrape at you so hard.
Here is a selection of some of the best books to read if you’ve just lost someone you love:
A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
This is considered the authoritative book on bereavement, and is often given as a gift to those who have recently lost a partner.
There is no denying its worth, and what Dideon writes is hauntingly accurate – the way your brain and body part ways for some time, normality is refracted, you get lost in both anguish and heightened emotions like euphoria (weirdly enough).
Death is like glimpsing a parallel world. We get left behind. And the space in between can really feel like magic.