Usually, we find books. Unlike ourselves, books are stationary things, waiting for hands like ours to crack their spines and dog ear their corners. They sit in our bags, lay in our laps and stand on our shelves, waiting to be found.
Except, sometimes, we are the lost ones. The ones stuck on a feeling, locked in a place, left by a person, in need of an escape. In these moments, books find us. They creep into our lives like forgotten friends and stay by our sides far past the last page. Without our knowledge, they become the feelings, the places and the people we need most.
There are many books that have found me in a time of loss. Below are three.
Circe by Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller’s Circe found me in a moment of self-doubt. As a young woman struggling to find my voice, Circe’s story of self-discovery and independence mirrors my own. Written for the female gaze, this Greek retelling sheds light on a mythological figure who is often misunderstood. Trapped on an island of her own, Circe shows us her path to self-love and acceptance. With poignant lyricism, Miller creates a character worth following anywhere.
What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About by Michele Filgate
Michele Filgate’s What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About found me in a time of reflection. Home for the summer, memories of childhood followed me down familiar roads. Filgate’s short story collection is an ode to memory. It is a cathartic read and a reflection of our most complicated relationships. Fifteen authors share varied stories of the women who gave them life, giving readers space to reflect on our own.
The Poison Glen by Annemarie Ni Churreain
Annemarie Ni Churreain’s The Poison Glen found me in the countryside of Ireland. Amongst talk of folktales, her poetry lured me like a siren itself. Following themes of feminism and family, the collection is as enchanting as it is enriching. If you are looking for a fairytale escape rooted in reality, Ni Churreain’s poetry is just for you.