Novels about Mental Health
If you struggle with mental health issues, reading a novel about a character who battles and overcomes similar struggles can be inspiring and encouraging. Here is some of the fiction featured on Book Club Bites that deals with mental health issues. Each includes a book club guide just for you!
The Maid is Nita Prose’s debut novel. This cozy mystery set in a hotel is sure to appeal to fans of Agatha Christie.
Featuring a neurodivergent main character, the novel follows Molly, the hotel maid, as she’s suspected of murder and tries to clear her name. The entire hotel staff is full of friend and foe, and in a Clue-like mystery, Molly must determine where each person lies.
It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us are Colleen Hoover’s most popular books (outside of Verity). The novels are a duology featuring the same set of characters. If you are wondering which novel to read first, the series actually starts with It Ends with Us, then continues to book two, It Starts with Us.
I’ve provided book club questions and delicious food ideas for It Ends with Us and It Starts with Us and I have a special recipe for you! So if you are looking for book club ideas and more, keep reading!
The Vibrant Years is Sonali Dev’s newest novel and the first book from Mindy Kaling’s new imprint Mindy’s Book Studio. Yes, that Mindy Kaling. It’s a rom-com about three generations of Indian-American women navigating the throes of love. Insert one Millennial genius trying to code a revolutionary dating app. Add in two begrudging research assistants in her strong-willed, gorgeous grandmother and her career-stunted, timid mother. Top it off with a series of…unfortunate dates. And you have The Vibrant Years.
Double Exposure follows photojournalist Annie Hawkins as she returns to Afghanistan in 2015 to rebuild a school for girls destroyed by the Taliban.
Set during the unstable period when the Taliban desperately tried to regain power by launching terrorist attacks against Afghans, the novel is a fast-paced, heart-wrenching tale of the people who stood strong in the face of terrorism.
Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library takes a quirky main character, Nora Seed, dealing with some hard issues and places her in a unique situation. The Midnight Library sprinkles in a heavy dose of magical realism in the form of a library at the edge of the universe that contains an infinite amount of books, each with a different reality. This library specifically has an infinite number of realities of Nora Seed’s life.
Imagine being able to try on all the possibilities of your life if you’d just made a slightly different decision along the road and you have The Midnight Library.
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is a story about eight strangers who find themselves taken hostage by a desperate bank robber. Now that you have formed a thought about what a story like that might be like, ball it up, and throw it in the trash. Because that’s exactly what Backman, in his genius, does.
Have you read A Man Called Ove? It’s a book that book clubs love. Fredrik Backman is a master of the human experience and A Man Called Ove captures his talent, sending the reader through the array of human emotions (which is why book clubs love the book).
If your book club hasn’t read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, I highly recommend it. It will surprise you and leave you smiling. In the beginning, I think it’s safe to say that Eleanor Oliphant is not a very likeable character, but, by the end, I was cheering loudly for her. What a triumphant character and novel.
If your book club hasn’t read Where’d You Go, Bernadette, I highly recommend it as a read that is quirky, humorous, and still carries enough weight to facilitate a great discussion. The great news is that Where’d You Go, Bernadette was released in 2012, but is still timely and relevant. A lot of book clubs prefer to read books easily found at the library, and, by now, your library should have plenty of copies.
If your book club needs a good laugh or a feel good book, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is the book for you. From page one, I loved the narrator’s voice and couldn’t stop smiling. This book really was a breath of fresh air to me. I’ll be interested to know if you felt the same. Even though it is a rom-com essentially, I had no trouble finding more than enough book club questions and a recipe (ummm, margaritas anyone?) to compliment the book.