6 Tearjerkers to Read for a Good Cry


Literary novels to invoke the healing power of tears

Sometimes, a good cry to relieve stress and anxiety is exactly what you need. Look no further, for the secret lies in the following pet novels for all pet lovers:

1. The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein


Source: Garth Stein

Garth Stein found inspiration for his New York Times best-seller The Art of Racing in the Rain from his time as an amateur racing driver, which he quit after a crash in the rain.

The story is written in a dog’s point of view – Enzo, who has a human-like thinking, believes he will be reborn as a human. In his journey to be ready for reincarnation, Enzo discovers and cultivates human qualities, and tries to make sense of human relationships.

Join Enzo as he accompanies his owner through life’s major milestones, namely the suffering of birth, old age, sickness, and death, and learn some life lessons along the way. Heartbreaking yet heartwarming, The Art of Racing in the Rain promises to be a novel pawrents can relate with – especially those who treat their furkids as a human child.

2. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa


Source: Penguin Books Ltd

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is part of an impressive lineup of Japanese novels – ones filled with sentimental stories with a way of tugging at your heartstrings. In this case, Hiro Arikawa writes the story of Nana, who follows his owner on a road trip to visit his old friends.

Even though Nana may be seen as a sassy and snarky character throughout his monologues, he proves a cat is able to make a loyal and loving companion just as well as his canine counterparts can. A story about gratitude, The Travelling Cat Chronicles lets you reflect on your relationships, and may even make you beside yourself with happiness and sadness.

3. Doglands by Tim Willocks


Source: Penguin Random House

Doglands follows the story of Furgul, who goes on some wild adventures after discovering his true identity as a lurcher – a mixed breed – instead of a Greyhound. Despite the story’s theme of love and loss, Tim Willocks manages to mimic the real-life scenarios of meeting and losing people in a compelling way.

Without discount to the moral stories that are meant to be told, the hint of fantasy in Doglands keeps it a lighthearted read for readers of all ages.

4. Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley


Source: Simon & Schuster 

Lily and the Octopus is the brainchild of Steven Rowley, who wrote the book in order to cope with the death of his Dachshund; sure enough, the novel’s main protagonist is named after his beloved pet.

Lily the Dachshund has a brain tumour – it resembles an octopus, and thus her owner calls it so. Throughout the story, the octopus clings to Lily – an apt metaphor not only for Lily’s fight against the disease but also her owner’s struggle to cope with grief and loss.

Lily and the Octopus takes you on a journey to come to terms with your furkid’s inevitable death under rather unfortunate circumstances that leads you to arrive at the moral decision of putting your pet to sleep. At the end of the day, this heart-rending story manages to capture the hearts and minds of readers, all through a valuable lesson about life and death in a way that is subtle yet profound.

5. Going Home by Cliff McNish


Source: Cliff McNish

At his late wife’s suggestion, Cliff McNish – having had two years’ worth of experience in fostering dogs himself – wrote Going Home, a story of four rescue dogs, each with its own struggle to find a forever home. The stories of Ralph, Mitch, Bessie, and Fred – even in the face of being put down – delivers a tale of hope and second chances, and is heartfelt yet funny at the same time.

6. Marley and Me by John Grogan


Source: HarperCollins Publishers

Last on the list is a classic – Marley and Me by John Grogan. Based on a true story, Marley is described as “the world’s worst dog”, which is a saying pawrents can surely understand.

In fact, like the rest of us, Marley and his family live a normal life, which makes their story all the more relatable. As we follow the misadventures of Marley and his family’s acceptance of his playful – and alas, destructive – personality, we will come to realise and appreciate the love and loyalty our own furkid has to offer.

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