What is the last book that made you cry? Some stories might have you weeping from start to finish, and then there are those that include an unexpected event that leaves you sniffling.
Crying is an emotional release, and sobbing at the end (or middle, or even beginning) of a book can be healthy for both mind and body. Just think of your eyes. Tears play an important role in maintaining the eye's optimal condition. Tears clear bacteria and get rid of toxins. Also, they can reduce stress.
So, with this in mind, here are some books and DVDs available at the Beaufort County libraries that might just make you cry.
'THE THORN BIRDS'
By Colleen McCullough
This classic tearjerker is about the lifelong love story of Ralph de Bricassart, a tormented priest, and Maggie Cleary, a young Australian girl determined to get the man she loves. This is said to be the most amazing love story of all times. A landmark novel to be read again and again.
'THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN'
By Mitch Albom
Eddie, a wounded soldier, believes he has lived an uninspired life. On his 83rd birthday, a horrible accident kills him as he tries to save a small girl from falling. The story continues in the afterlife where he learns about his life from five people who explain it to him. It wasn't meaningless after all.
'A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS'
By Khaled Hosseini
This is a family saga set in Kabul with beautiful writing that draws the reader into the lives of its characters. The story is told through the eyes of its main character Laila. This book touches your heart as well as increases your knowledge of the turmoil in Afghanistan.
'WATER FOR ELEPHANTS'
By Sara Gruen
In this book about a traveling circus during the Great Depression, I felt like crying for the elephants and other circus animals that were starved and beaten. The story is about a young man tossed by fate onto a train that is home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. This book has it all: Wonder, pain, anger and passion. The ending is spectacular.
By Jhumpa Lahiri
This poignant generational family saga depicts an Indian family torn between traditions and the American way of life. The ending leaves much to the reader's imagination.
If you'd rather watch a film, here are some DVDs available:
A young girl's decision to have a baby, even though advised not to, costs her to lose her life. Is it better to "have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special"?
'THE MEMORY KEEPER'
A father separates his son from his twin sister at birth to prevent his wife from knowing that she had a baby with Down syndrome.
A classic, starring James Stewart, tells of the heartbreak of the Civil War and how family survives it all. (I bet you cannot stop the tears when you view the ending).
An epic love story that focuses on an old man in a nursing home reading a passionate story about two young lovers. He diligently reads to his wife, the love of his life, even though she has Alzheimer's and doesn't recognize him.
'MILLION DOLLAR BABY'
A dramatic story about a 30ish female boxer. A connection between strangers proves to be a bond stronger than blood.
'TERMS OF ENDEARMENT'
A young mother, who has a special relationship with her mother, becomes ill and dies leaving her children to be cared for by others. One of the most tearjerking scenes is when she must face her young sons and explain to them she is dying.
So cozy up on the couch for the night and grab some tissues.
Mary Jo Berkes is branch manager at Hilton Head Island library.