7 Novels To Give You Hope in These Difficult Times

In my last post, I gave you a list of newer books I to keep you distracted from the stress and uncertainly we’re all facing right now. Since then I’ve got even more requests for book recommendations, my friends wanting to read something that is uplifting more than simply distracting.

Today I’d like to focus on giving you hope. I’m repurposing an old post, updating it for our current times.

Back in July of 2017, I wrote about 10 Novels That Restore Your Faith in Humanity. I’m trying to remember what may have inspired me to write that post. I’m suspecting it had something to do with the then new presidential administration. Some of those  novels will appear on today’s list (but not all of them so check that post out too) and I’ve added some newer ones that fit the description as well.

When times are tough, reading a hopeful story can lift our spirits and remind us that things can work out in the end. Who knows what lies ahead for us right now, but we can comfort ourselves with books and music and movies that fill our hearts with joy.


7 Novels To Give You Hope in These Difficult Times


1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Written as a series of letters, this novel tells the story of a writer in post WWII London who is seeking a new project. She receives a letter from a man who found her name written inside the cover of a used book. As letters are exchanged and stories are told, we learn how a group of people on Guernsey Island survived the German occupation by sticking together and supporting each other. There are some heavy parts, but the general tone


2. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor is an unlikely heroine, she’s socially awkward and lives fairly isolated. When can’t avoid an interaction with a colleague and a stranger, she’s set on a path of self discovery. There’s so much going on in this story. While ultimately hopeful, it takes a raw look at the effects of grief and depression, and also what it looks like to ask for help and begin to heal.


3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

This one isn’t seasonally appropriate, but there aren’t really any rules right now. If you’re looking for a hopeful story, this is the ultimate one! It’s the classic warning tale of the dangers of capitalism, and the possibility of redemption even for a Scrooge.

4. How to Walk Away by Katherine Center 

A quick easy read, I was hooked from the beginning, eager to root for Margaret. She’s a fantastic protagonist, smart and strong, and now questioning everything she’s ever believed in her life after becoming severely injured in an accident. Ultimately this is a story about hope and recovery, physically and emotionally. It’s about love and acceptance, of self and of others.

5. Love Walked In by Maria De Los Santos

All of this author’s books could be included on this list. I recently named her as a binge worthy author because her hopeful novels are addictive! Here we have the story of 11 year old Clare, abandoned by her mother and searching for her father. She crosses paths with Cornelia, whose life has recently changed drastically. The two form a special relationship and together face life’s unpredictability.

6. Circle of Friends by Mave Binchy

One of my earliest, and all time favorite novels, I’m tempted to re-read this one soon to lift my spirits. It’s the story of two girls who grow up together in a small town in Ireland, and follows them as they go to University together. As their lives grow, the story grows to include their families and friends. It’s a story of adjusting to life and the way relationships change as we age.

7. Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

While not a novel in the traditional sense, this graphic novel is a collection of comics and stories. The author chronicles her life with anxiety and depression. It’s funny and silly, yet also poignant and ultimately hopeful.

I hope this books boost your spirits. I’d love to hear your thoughts on them. Or is there something else you’re reading that’s giving you hope? I’d love to know about that too!


  1. Jackie O'Briant

    March 20, 2020 at 8:47 am

    What excellent suggestions! I’ve read almost all—and it made me smile to think of each one 🙂
    Hope you are well!

  2. Ramona Mead

    March 20, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Hi Jackie, I’m doing well. I’m glad this list made you smile. I can recommend more similar titles if you’d like!

  3. Five Things Friday March 20, 2020 - RamonaMead.com

    March 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    […] other day right now, and I’m devouring romance novels one after the other. I think it’s the hopeful feeling they bring up for me, I want it to last as long as […]

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