Books About Death or Grieving: Fiction

Fictional stories and novels about death, grief, sadness, and healing

Updated June 7, 2023
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When you read this : a novel
Adkins, Mary
One of Real Simple's Best Books of 2019 One of Thrillist's Best Books of 2019  One of Good Housekeeping's Best Books of 2019 "Fans of Where'd You Go, Bernadette will love this. . . a bittersweet, often funny novel about hope, memory, and...
The homewreckers : a novel
Andrews, Mary Kay
Summer begins with Mary Kay Andrews, in this delightful summer read about flipping houses, and finding true love. "Andrews (The Newcomer) sparkles in this fast-paced tale. Andrews's fans will eat this up." --Publishers Weekly "A fun story...
Mostly dead things : a novel
Arnett, Kristen N.
What does it take to come back to life? For Jessa-Lynn Morton, the question is not an abstract one. In the wake of her father's suicide, Jessa has stepped up to manage his failing taxidermy business while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the taxidermy shop to...
June : a novel
Beverly-Whittemore, Miranda
From the New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet comes a novel of suspense and passion about a terrible mistake made sixty years ago that threatens to change a modern family forever.  Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up...
In the unlikely event
Blume, Judy.
In her highly anticipated new novel, Judy Blume, the New York Times # 1 best-selling author of Summer Sisters and of young adult classics such as Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, creates a richly textured and moving story of three generations of families, friends and...
The grief of others
Cohen, Leah Hager.
Is keeping a secret from a spouse always an act of infidelity? And what cost does such a secret exact on a family? The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return...
The familiar dark : a novel
Engel, Amy
One of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2020 (Mystery/Thriller) "From its gripping beginning to its sobering finale, Amy Engel's The Familiar Dark never fails to enthrall with surprising twists."-Associated Press A spellbinding story of a mother...
The music of bees : a novel
Garvin, Eileen
A NATIONAL BESTSELLER! A Good Morning America BUZZ PICK | A Good Housekeeping Book Club Pick | IndieNext Pick | LibraryReads Pick | Recommended by People ∙ The Washington Post ∙ Woman's World ∙ NY Post ∙...
The joy of falling : a novel
Harrel, Lindsay
Eva and Angela must learn to live again. One step at a time . . . It has been fifteen months since Eva and Angela lost their thrill-seeking husbands in a scuba diving accident. Both women are trying to navigate their way through the grief, but neither one is making much progress. Angela is barely...
& this is how to stay alive
Kagunda, Shingai Njeri
In & This is How to Stay Alive by Shingai Njeri Kagunda, Nyokabi's world unravels after her brother Baraka's death by suicide. When an eccentric auntie gives Nyokabi a potion that sends her back in time to when Baraka was still alive, it becomes her only goal to keep him that way. Nyokabi...
Sing them home
Kallos, Stephanie.
Sing Them Home is a moving portrait of three siblings who have lived in the shadow of unresolved grief since their mother's disappearance when they were children. Everyone in Emlyn Springs knows the story of Hope Jones, the physician's wife whose big dreams for their tiny town were lost...
Where reasons end : a novel
Li, Yiyun
A fearless writer confronts grief and transforms it into art, in a book of surprising beauty and love, "a masterpiece by a master" (Elizabeth McCracken, Vanity Fair). "Li has converted the messy and devastating stuff of life into a remarkable work of art."--...
Monogamy : a novel
Miller, Sue
A New York Times Notable Book * NPR Best Book of the Year * People magazine Top Ten Books of the Year * BookPage Best Book of the Year * Good Housekeeping Best Book of the Year "A sensual and perceptive novel. . . . With humor and humanity, Miller resists the simple scorned-wife story and...
I am homeless if this is not my home
Moore, Lorrie
A NEW YORKER ESSENTIAL READ * From "one of the most acute and lasting writers of her generation" (The New York Times)--a ghost story set in the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, an elegiac consideration of grief, devotion (filial and romantic), and the vanishing and...
Dear Edward : a novel
Napolitano, Ann
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK AS FEATURED ON TODAY * "Make sure you have tissues handy when you read [this] sure-footed tearjerker" (NPR) about a young boy who must learn to go on after surviving tragedy, from the author of the Oprah's...
Only child
Navin, Rhiannon
"Only Child triumphs. Zach, at only 6 years old, understands more about the human heart than the broken adults around him. His hope and optimism as he sets out to execute his plan will have every reader cheering him on, and believing in happy endings even in the face of such tragedy. . . ....
Everything I never told you
Ng, Celeste.
The acclaimed debut novel by the author of Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts "A taut tale of ever deepening and quickening suspense." --O, the Oprah Magazine "Explosive . . . Both a propulsive mystery and a profound examination of...
The friend
Nunez, Sigrid
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatised by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and...
Someday, Maybe
Nwabineli, Onyi
Here are three things you should know about my husband:1. He was the great love of my life despite his penchant for going incommunicado. 2. He was, as far as I and everyone else could tell, perfectly happy. Which is significant because . . . 3. On New Year's Eve, he killed himself.
Remote control
Okorafor, Nnedi
An alien artifact turns a young girl into Death's adopted daughter in Remote Control, a thrilling sci-fi tale of community and female empowerment from Nebula and Hugo Award-winner Nnedi Okorafor "She's the adopted daughter of the Angel of Death. Beware of her. Mind...
Grief is the thing with feathers : a novel
Porter, Max
Here he is, husband and father, scruffy romantic, a shambolic scholar--a man adrift in the wake of his wife's sudden, accidental death. And there are his two sons who like him struggle in their London apartment to face the unbearable sadness that has engulfed them. The father imagines a future of...
Rajaniemi, Hannu
"It reads like John Le Carré if Le Carré ate a ton of acid before writingTinker Tailor Soldier Spy..."--NPR onSummerland From Hannu Rajaniemi, one of the most exciting science fiction writers in the last decade, comes an awe-inspiring account of the...
The lovely bones
Sebold, Alice.
"My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973." So begins the story of Susie Salmon, who is adjusting to her new home in heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected, even as she is watching life on earth continue...
The furrows : an elegy : a novel
Serpell, Namwali
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award * One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year * Longlisted for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize "A triumph."--New York Magazine From one of the most celebrated new voices in...
The pilot's wife : a novel
Shreve, Anita.
Anita Shreve's hauntingly beautiful #1 bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection about tragedy, grief, betrayal, and the 'impossibility of knowing another person.' As a pilot's wife, Kathryn has learned to expect both intense exhilaration and long periods alone, but nothing has...
Thomas, Scott
Selected by Library Journal as one of the best horror books of 2019 "The sheer, skin-crawling fright is masterful. Thomas has crafted an indelible story...all wrapped in a supernatural shroud that unfurls from the heart of America. Whether or not thoughts can breathe,...
Good grief : a novel
Winston, Lolly.
A brilliantly funny and heartwarming debut about a young woman who stumbles, then fights to build a new life after the death of her husband. The perfect book for anyone who has ever been heartbroken, lost someone they loved, or eaten too many Oreos.
The cross gardener
Wright, Jason F.
From the New York Times bestselling author, an inspiring story of life, love, and moving on. Married and the father of a young daughter, John Bevan had finally found the traditional family he lacked as an orphaned child. But all that disappears when a fatal car accident...
Moshi Moshi
Yoshimoto, Banana
"A beautiful translation . . . Yoshimoto deploys a magically Japanese light touch to emotionally and existentially tough subject matter: domestic disarray, loneliness, identity issues, lovesickness . . . [a] nimble narrative." ―ELLE In Moshi Moshi, Yoshie's...

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