Great stories remind us that we are not alone. Despite our differences, we all have similar struggles, fears, dreams and hopes. By identifying with a book’s character, we can see our own situation from another point of view and discover new ways to deal with our problems.
But what if you have a hard time finding fictional figures you can relate with?
‘Sick lit’ is the somewhat questionable name for a new genre of novels, featuring characters who are faced with illness. Following John Green’s blockbuster book The Fault in Our Stars, lots of gripping stories about terminally ill teenagers and their tragic romances have hit the book shops and movie theaters.
However, there haven’t been many novels written that put living with chronic illness in the spotlight. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, because let’s face it, being chronically ill is kinda boring. Instead of going on ‘before-I-die’ adventures, life with MS, chronic migraine or Lyme disease feels more like an endless repetition of doctor’s visits, therapy and sick days in bed.
Fortunately, the sick lit below shows a glimpse of what it’s like to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, HIV and osteogenesis imperfecta. And although they’re mostly young adult novels, the older ones among us can still relate to the medical dilemmas, everyday problems and existential questions that the protagonists struggle with.
So if you’re looking for a relatable read, check out these 6 captivating novels that star chronically ill characters.