Am reading a rather depressing novel at the moment, title and author listed above. It is well written so that both assists with the reader's ability to cope with the unhappiness of, and adds to the depressing nature of, the characters in the story. If you need to feel edified, encouraged, and filled with hope about the state of humankind, this may not be the book for you. As well written and interesting as it is, it is not bedtime reading for people who live their novels emotionally.
Here is a quote: "Has he (Vincent) enjoyed his life? Parts of it have been enjoyable.
You could look back at your own life and see it, broken into parts, divided like a field cut up for different crops. But where you were living any part of your life, that was the whole of it. You didn't say, Eventually there will be another part of life from which this will be separated. Even the breaks, the new starts, terminations, crossings over. You didn't let go of the part of your life you were living. Nothing became the past while you were living it.
Things bled from one part of your life into the new part so that it seemed a piece, and when the terrible times came that was the trouble. You believed it never would break up. The past became the past only when it could no longer wound you. And then you lost some kind of interest in it. It became less real to you. You could no longer recognize it as your life. Only some thread reminded you that you were always the same person. Birth to death, you were the same."
(The Other Side by Mary Gordon, page 272, 273. Viking Penguin publishers: New York, 1989.)
Am switching up my just before bedtime reading so I stop waking up feeling depressed! This novel is a day time read for me because the emotionally depressing lives of the characters are far too realistically authored.