I’m talking about books (and movies) with animals that die. Jennifer Estep and I were emailing each other about book covers, and we somehow ended up talking about our pets that died, and how we still missed them. It happened that I was looking at Redbox for movies, and I saw Hachi: A Dog’s Tale. The movie had tons of reviews with a 4.5 average. There was also a trailer, and watching it, I knew the movie would break my heart.
I told Jennifer that the best best dog movies don’t have good endings, and she said, “you’re right about the bad endings, like Where the Red Fern Grows …”
I can think of others that broke my heart, too: Old Yeller. Marley and Me (the book; not the movie), and The Horse Whisperer. (The book was also better than the movie.)
I really like comedies, but I think some stories with at least a little gravitas are the ones you remember most. And if they make you laugh and combine it with a little sadness – like Love Actually and Forrest Gump – then those are the ones you’ll remember.
I have dogs and cats in many of my books. So far I haven’t killed any. I really don’t know if I could write that scene. But my characters go through a lot of bad things and some humorous, too.
What book/movie have you read or seen that broke your heart?