The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel.

An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Victim blaming discussed
  • Rape recounted
  • Parental abandonment mentioned
  • Depression & psychotic depression
  • Panic attacks, on-page
  • Abortion recounted
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Needles
  • Graphic dead bodies, on-page
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Amputation of fingers, off-page
  • Medical experimentation & inhumane procedures discussed
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother from cancer recounted
  • Death of a mother in a hit-and-run accident mentioned
  • Death of a brother by drowning recounted
  • Death of a colleague by drowning
  • Murder & attempted murder, on-page
  • Drowning & attempted drowning
  • Knife violence & stabbing, on-page
  • Kidnapping, on-page
  • Physical assault
  • Disappearance of a wife
  • Avalanche, on-page
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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly bookish friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape recounted
  • Cheating
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father recounted
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On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abandonment
  • Rape
  • Panic attack
  • Cancer
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of relatives in a car accident
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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Death of a pet dog
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The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened…. Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Miscarriage
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a fiancé
  • Car accident
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When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

In every life there is a turning point. A moment so tremendous, so sharp and breathtaking, that one knows one’s life will never be the same. For Michael Stirling, London’s most infamous rake, that moment came the first time he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton.

After a lifetime of chasing women, of smiling slyly as they chased him, of allowing himself to be caught but never permitting his heart to become engaged, he took one look at Francesca Bridgerton and fell so fast and hard into love it was a wonder he managed to remain standing. Unfortunately for Michael, however, Francesca’s surname was to remain Bridgerton for only a mere thirty-six hours longer—the occasion of their meeting was, lamentably, a supper celebrating her imminent wedding to his cousin…. Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Infertility
  • Miscarriage
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a spouse
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Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Displacement by Kiku Hughes

Kiku is on vacation in San Francisco when suddenly she finds herself displaced to the 1940s Japanese-American internment camp that her late grandmother, Ernestina, was forcibly relocated to during World War II.

These displacements keep occurring until Kiku finds herself “”stuck”” back in time. Living alongside her young grandmother and other Japanese-American citizens in internment camps, Kiku gets the education she never received in history class. She witnesses the lives of Japanese-Americans who were denied their civil liberties and suffered greatly, but managed to cultivate community and commit acts of resistance in order to survive.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Colourism
  • Sexism
  • Hate crimes
  • Cancer
  • Death
  • Grief depiction
  • Confinement
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes, specifically WW2 & Japanese internment camp
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Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder

Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder

Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder

Part poignant cancer memoir and part humorous reflection on a motherless life, this debut graphic novel is extraordinarily comforting and engaging.

From before her mother’s first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing–but also often funny–details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom’s closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the “I’ve got to tell Mom about this” instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attacks
  • Medical trauma
  • Cancer
  • Death of a parent
  • Hospitals & hospitalisation
  • Grief depiction
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Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

Nothing But Blackened Teeth by Cassandra Khaw

A Heian-era mansion stands abandoned, its foundations resting on the bones of a bride and its walls packed with the remains of the girls sacrificed to keep her company.

It’s the perfect wedding venue for a group of thrill-seeking friends.

But a night of food, drinks, and games quickly spirals into a nightmare. For lurking in the shadows is the ghost bride with a black smile and a hungry heart.

And she gets lonely down there in the dirt.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Toxic relationship
  • Alcoholism
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Grief
  • Death
  • Murder
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Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Toxic relationship
  • Self-harm
  • Emesis
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a child
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Gun violence
  • Confinement
  • Torture
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