Loneliness might hit you like a tidal wave you didn’t see coming, or it can creep up on you slowly. Feeling lonely is nothing to be embarrassed about, and as a voracious reader and introvert, I’ve discovered that books are excellent antidotes to loneliness.
Stories have a magical touch that tends to make every situation in life seem a bit simpler to manage, whether it’s a novel about lonely individuals or a major adventure that’ll make you forget you’re feeling lonely.
We know how isolating loneliness can affect a person. It’s terrifying, heartbreaking, and difficult to relate to because everyone goes through it differently. Whatever is causing your loneliness, know that you are not alone. Though it may take some time, it will not last indefinitely.
We’ve compiled a collection of inspiring novels that have helped us feel better and less lonely over the years, in case you need some cheering up or need someone to relate to.
Table of Contents
Here are novels to read whenever the lonely bug has made its imprint on you, ranging from amusing works that will make you giggle to serious ones that will make you think-
1. Since You’ve Been Gone, by Morgan Matson
Morgan Matson‘s Since You’ve Been Gone is a stand-alone novel that recounts Emily Hughes’ exciting and surprising summer escapades.
Sloane, Emily’s best friend, has vanished, leaving behind a list of 13 ridiculous challenges for Emily to complete.
2. I Have Lost My Way, by Gayle Forman
The story follows three strangers: Freya, a social media singing sensation who has lost her voice; Nathaniel, a beautiful but shy young man who has survived neglect and abandonment; and Harun, a heartbroken Pakistani American Muslim who is ashamed of his sexuality and has broken up with his boyfriend/first love.
3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
From the postcolonial 1820s to the 1920s, this is the author’s epic saga of seven generations of the Buenda family, which covers a hundred years of stormy Latin American history.
In the middle of a marsh, Patriarch José Arcadio Buenda constructs the utopian city of Macondo.
4. The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman
Nina, the sole child of a single mother, has everything she desires in life: a bookshop job, a competitive trivia team, a world-class planner, and a cat named Phil.
If she ever has the inkling that there is more to life than reading, she simply shrugs and picks up a new book.
5. The Overdue Life of Amy Byler, by Kelly Harms
Amy Byler, a single mother who is overworked and mistreated, needs a break.
So, when her abandoned husband reappears and offers to babysit their children for the summer, she accepts and flees rural Pennsylvania for New York City.
6. How Not to Die Alone, by Richard Roper
When new employee Peggy walks into the office, like a breath of fresh air, Andrew feels fully alive for the first time in decades. However, giving Peggy the truth could cost her everything.
Andrew has labored for twenty years to keep his heart safe, but he has forgotten one vital thing: how to live.
7. A Writer’s Diary, by Virginia Woolf
A helpful reference to Virginia Woolf’s art and thinking, based on her personal diary kept over a twenty-seven-year period.
There are entries on her own writing, as well as entries about the raw material of her work and, lastly, remarks about the books she was reading.
8. The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing
The Lonely City explores the life and loneliness of Klaus Nomi, an immigrant, LGBT, and gender non-conforming individual who had a similar experience that was expressed via music.
9. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
The plot revolves around Eleanor Oliphant, a social outcast with a painful history who falls in love with a musician she believes she is destined to be with.
Eleanor’s transformational journey towards a greater understanding of self and life is depicted in the novel, which deals with issues of isolation and loneliness.