2022 was a year of recovery from my perspective, adapting to university after starting courses online, engaging in social activities, and recovering from the mental health toll that was 2020 and 2021. Books have always been my sacred space, so luckily fo me, 'Booktok' filled my 'For You Page' with book recommendations and opinions every day. The following list contains three books that radiate comfort and made my 2022 remarkable.

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Rachel Beanland captures flawlessly the different shades and facets of grief and unconditional love that lead to the high price of keeping secrets. The novel is set in Atlanta city in 1934, the reader gets introduced to a Jewish family that is stumbling to hide the passing of a beloved daughter to her pregnant sister, Fannie, to avoid any complications. Everyone planned to be on the delicate secret while Fannie remains on bed rest wondering why her sister stopped calling and her daughter stopped showing.

Rachel Beanland introduces us into the private grief of every family member, making us understand and empathize with each unique life experience of Fannie’s daughter 7 years old Gussie, Fannie’s husband Isaac and Joseph, and Esther Adler, and her parents. As readers, we get glimpses of Florence's life filled with adventure and how the people in it were affected by her tragic death. Each narrative has a diverse and valid grief in it.

There was a point in the book where I wondered how long can they can keep such a secret with the rapid-moving pace of their lives. This is a beautifully written book that not only shares a family story but reflects the cultural problems of the 1930s American dream and the limitations of living freely.

People We Meet On vacation by Emily Henry

This is a story measured by vacation and endless refreshing fun. Emily Henry paints the perfect love story for hopeless romantics, a novel filled with tenderness, exploring, and mismatched protagonists who, after their first encounter, don't want to see each other again.

The story opens with Poppy and Alex realizing how different they are after an exchange of words at a college party. They avoid each other successfully for some time until they are forced to road trip back home to Ohio together. The contrast between each of their personalities is obvious; Poppy is a more joyful and extroverted spirit craving a cosmopolitan lifestyle, and Alex is a meticulous and introverted soul happy with his small-town existence. Life stories are exchanged in that car and a friendship is born by the time they arrive in Ohio.

Poppy and Alex have vacation around the globe together for 10 years, but the dual timeline between past and present hints at something that happened between them during one of their fabulous summers.

The way Emily writes, how the story unfolds, and the ambiance of the book makes you grow fond of the characters. We get the contrast of different versions of themselves- in college, out of college, traveling, and even what they share in a late-night conversations. In my opinion, Emily did a great job of humanizing these characters, giving them traits that align with many of us readers, and fears so real that you can relate to the characters in so many ways. I never got tired of this story and I caught myself giggling on considerable occasions.

In The Midst Of Winter by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende is an extraordinary Chilean writer known for writing personal, raw, and heartfelt novels, and this book wasn't the exception.

A Brooklyn snowstorm brings three unconventional characters together on a spontaneous journey, and their lives will merge into a life-changing and priceless friendship.

Isabel introduces the reader to Richard, a grumpy senior professor who is lonely and feels defeated by life, in a drive on the icy streets of the big city. He crashes into Evelyn, a young woman from Guatemala who is an undocumented immigrant and happened to be driving her boss's car. After the incident, they both go their separate ways. Evelyn shows up a few later frightened and incomprehensible, Richard requests help from his renter Lucia, a middle-aged Chilean woman that has the heart and spirit of a 20-year-old.

Isabel not only gives us one current point of view, but also the narrative of each characters' story and how they ended up in the same place at the same time: Richard's doomed and broken marriage in Brazil, Lucia´s family splintered by war, and Evelyn's tragic childhood and journey in Guatemala.

I can't count the times I sobbed reading this book. Isabel has a way of making you sympathize with how life treated the characters, making them layered characters that are complicated and messy like we all are. The book is raw but also tender, showing you that you can find love and compassion even in the most shattered past. I cannot put the book in a single category, it is a dark comedy with romance, drama, and crime.

I cannot express with words how much I loved reading this book. In my opinion, it is a masterpiece and uplifts Latino immigrants' narratives.