Grief in Fiction
THIS ARTICLE MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. Grief is one of the most complex emotions a person can feel and possibly one of the most difficult to explain in words. Yet, I find that I gravitate towards young adult books that tackle this idea in different ways. Most significantly, I enjoy books that tackle the grief that comes after the loss of loved ones as well as the grief that comes with parents’ divorce. I have experienced both kinds of grief in my life, and I believe both have affected me significantly over the last few years. My parents divorced in 2016 although the process was in the works mid-2015. This brought about a lot of changes and a lot of emotions that I had to deal with as I entered high school. It was a tumultuous time, and there were definitely feelings of loneliness as well as this strange overwhelming sense of responsibility that I felt the need to take on. During that time, I lost both of my great-grandparents. Pop died in 2016, and Grandma died almost exactly a year later in 2017. I consider myself to have been very lucky to have had my great-grandparents in my life for as long as I did, through nearly my whole childhood. Both of them always enjoyed my stories and my writing; they believed that I would have the chance to be published someday. Because of school and AP exams, I was unable to attend both funerals. It was a long time before I was able to grieve properly, and there is still a ways to go. I hope to visit their graves sometime soon after the pandemic ends. Chasing Fae tackles many of the feelings that came from my own experience of grief. I came up with the idea for this story during one of the lowest points of my life. The divorce was getting to me, bullying at school had increased, and the friend that I had considered like a brother to me abandoned me without so much as a word. I didn’t want to be angry or upset anymore, so I took that pain and pushed myself to create something beautiful from it. In the book, Grace has a difficult time dealing with her brother’s death. She feels responsible not only for her mother and her depression, but also for avenging Leo. The entire book spans the emotional journey of Grace coming to terms with what she has lost and how to move forward from it. I really tried to touch on all of the unintended consequences and reactions that grief can cause. I hope that readers who have experienced any kind of grief in their life will resonate with Grace. I hope that the process of grieving and eventual transformation is present and easily recognizable. Most of all, I hope Chasing Fae offers those individuals like me who had such a hard time figuring out what to do next some peace, some respite for a moment from the chaos they are feeling inside. A good book, especially a good fantasy book, should give the reader a wonderful place to lose themselves in and escape to. I hope Chasing Fae does just that.