A Book Recommendation To Help With Chronic Illness

After many years of ignoring romance novels without actually giving them a chance, I was delighted to realize that my judgmental dismissal of the genre was totally unfounded. While I don’t personally find certain types of romance appealing (I don’t need to read about sex-crazed werewolves or cowboys), there are thousands of well-crafted stories that have the potential to sweep me off my feet.

Books for the chronically ill

A couple of months ago, one of my fellow bookstore owner friends told me that, after a long spell of not being able to focus reading due to relentless stress, she devoured two books by Talia Hibbert.

The first of those two is called Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and I added it to my to-read list. When my friend mentioned that the protagonist was chronically ill, I moved to Get a Life, Chloe Brown to the top of my list. I immediately requested it from my local library.

Y’all. This book is delightful, a story of two people who dare to fall for each other despite having been deeply hurt in the past. Their conversations are so open and mentally healthy. I loved reading how they communicated and advocated for themselves and each other! Here's the premise...

The painful identity

Chloe’s chronic pain has become a part of her identity. I surely could understand that, as could most of you reading this review right now. She loves her family fiercely, but she’s not always up for telling them the truth about how she’s feeling because she doesn’t want to tax their kind hearts (yep, been there, too, Chloe).

She has emotional scars from relationship fallouts connected to her diagnosis. Some people she was close to, including a long-term beau, couldn’t understand why she couldn’t just go back to how she was before her illness took root.

Finding support and love

Cue the handsome artist who’s currently working as the manager of Chloe’s apartment complex. He’s sexy to look at and lust after, sure, but I found his genuine empathy and desire to care for Chloe without being patronizing the most attractive part of him.

Can Chloe learn to open her heart to someone after she’s been hurt so deeply? Can she trust that someone not only sees but truly loves her as she is, with all her joy and pain and intelligence and fatigue and curves?

Connecting psoriatic arthritis

I appreciate reading nonfiction about health conditions (particularly the conditions I have: psoriatic arthritis, migraine disease, and endometriosis). However, it’s usually fiction that best captures for me what it is actually like to be chronically ill.

Though I’m currently single and happy, stories like Get a Life, Chloe Brown encourage me to believe that there are potential partners out there who can fall madly in love with all of me, up to and including my chronic illness.

What novels or short stories have you read that capture chronic illness well? How did reading them affect you?

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