10 Best Family Drama Books Illustrating Modern Family Life
When it comes to exploring the complex web of relationships, emotions, and trials that come with familial bonds, family drama books offer an intimate look into modern family life. These books, carefully selected from a wide array of authors and cultures, bring to life stories that offer more than your everyday family façade. They delve deep into the human heart, to places of raw vulnerability, love, dejection, and sometimes redemption.
Books in this genre explore themes ranging from sibling rivalry, discord between parents, generational gaps, to the universal struggle of finding one's identity in the continually shifting sands of family dynamics. By representation of various family structures and situations, these novels provide an open, heartfelt, and at times, provocative narrative of the peculiar challenges and blessings of living in a family.
In a world that often appears increasingly disconnected, these books offer a refreshing take on the essence of belonging, reminding us of how important our roots can be. They are not just relatable but act as mirrors reflecting the elements of our reality, woven into the intricate tapestry of family life. Here are the 10 best family drama books that authentically depict contemporary family relations. Enjoy the journey as you turn the pages.
『We Are the Brennans』
**INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER** In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney's The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame—and the redemptive power of love—in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets. When twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in a Los Angeles hospital, bruised and battered after a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and goes home to her family in New York. But it’s not easy. She deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation, and they've got questions. Sunday is determined to rebuild her life back on the east coast, even if it does mean tiptoeing around resentful brothers and an ex-fiancé. The longer she stays, however, the more she realizes they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past brings her family’s pub business to the brink of financial ruin, the only way to protect them is to upend all their secrets—secrets that have damaged the family for generations and will threaten everything they know about their lives. In the aftermath, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way forward, together.
|Release Date||Aug 03, 2021|
『Dial A for Aunties』
"Sutanto brilliantly infuses comedy and culture into the unpredictable rom-com/murder mystery mashup as Meddy navigates familial duty, possible arrest and a groomzilla. I laughed out loud and you will too.”—USA Today (four-star review) “A hilarious, heartfelt romp of a novel about—what else?—accidental murder and the bond of family. This book had me laughing aloud within its first five pages… Utterly clever, deeply funny, and altogether charming, this book is sure to be one of the best of the year!”—Emily Henry, New York Times bestselling author of Beach Read One of NPR's Best Books of 2021! One of PopSugar’s "42 Books Everyone Will Be Talking About in 2021"! What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue! When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—"Don't leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!"—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's perfect buttercream flowers. But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy's great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?
|Author||Jesse Q. Sutanto|
|Release Date||Apr 27, 2021|
『This Is How It Always Is』
New York Times Bestseller The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick “Every once in a while, I read a book that opens my eyes in a way I never expected.” —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine book pick) People Magazine’s Top 10 Books of 2017 Bustle’s 17 Books Every Woman Should Read From 2017 PopSugar’s Our Favorite Books of the Year (So Far) Refinery29's Best Books of the Year So Far BookBrowse’s The 20 Best Books of 2017 Pacific Northwest Book Awards Finalist The Globe and Mail's Top 100 Books of 2017 Longlisted for 2019 International DUBLIN Literary Award “It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me think.” —Liane Moriarty, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies This is how a family keeps a secret...and how that secret ends up keeping them. This is how a family lives happily ever after...until happily ever after becomes complicated. This is how children change...and then change the world. This is Claude. He’s five years old, the youngest of five brothers, and loves peanut butter sandwiches. He also loves wearing a dress, and dreams of being a princess. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn want Claude to be whoever Claude wants to be. They’re just not sure they’re ready to share that with the world. Soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes. Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is is a novel about revelations, transformations, fairy tales, and family. And it’s about the ways this is how it always is: Change is always hard and miraculous and hard again, parenting is always a leap into the unknown with crossed fingers and full hearts, children grow but not always according to plan. And families with secrets don’t get to keep them forever.
|Release Date||Jan 24, 2017|
『Apples Never Fall』
THE #1 BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB PICK THE DELICIOUSLY DARK SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF NINE PERFECT STRANGERS AND HBO'S BIG LITTLE LIES 'Perfect holiday reading' GUARDIAN 'Smart, sharp and utterly riveting' DAILY MAIL 'Stunning' SUNDAY TIMES 'A tour de force' GRAZIA 'A masterclass' SUN **SOON TO BE A MAJOR TV SERIES STARRING SAM NEILL AND ANNETTE BENING** ________ Joy and Stan Delaney have four grown-up children, a successful family business and their golden years ahead of them. Then Joy vanishes. Questions are asked. The police get involved. Scratch the surface and this seemingly happy family has much to hide . . . ________ 'Deliciously dark' COSMOPOLITAN 'Utterly and completely wonderful . . . A hugely engaging, sometimes very funny, page-turner' MARIAN KEYES 'Moriarty's expert storytelling will have you turning page after page' i 'A corker of a mystery' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH 'If you want a book to see you through on your beach towel this summer, I highly recommend Liane's latest, Apples Never Fall. There's a lot of truth in it. Something we really do need right now' FI GLOVER, Waitrose Weekend 'I loved it. An absolute page-turner with all the wit and nuance that put Liane Moriarty head and shoulders above the crowd. Liane Moriarty shows once again why she leads the pack' JANE HARPER 'One of the few writers I'll drop anything for' JOJO MOYES
|Release Date||Sep 14, 2021|
“Exquisite... Commonwealth is impossible to put down.” — New York Times #1 New York Times Bestseller | NBCC Award Finalist | New York Times Best Book of the Year | USA Today Best Book | TIME Magazine Top 10 Selection | Oprah Favorite Book | New York Magazine Best Book of The Year The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families’ lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.
|Release Date||Sep 13, 2016|
『Seven Days of Us』
A family can’t escape their secrets when they’re forced to spend a week in quarantine in this “sharply funny” (People) novel—an Indie Next and #1 Library Reads Pick! It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. She's just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of first-world problems. As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down. In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive....
|Release Date||Oct 16, 2018|
『The Wedding Sisters』
One wedding, three sisters, and family secrets that leave them wondering if anyone will actually make it down the aisle
|Release Date||Jun 07, 2016|
『Little Fires Everywhere』
'Just read it . . . Outstanding' Matt Haig 'To say I love this book is an understatement . . . It moved me to tears' Reese Witherspoon 'Beautifully written, completely charming, and extremely wise on the subject of adolescence and influence' Nick Hornby Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother- who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community. When old family friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town - and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia's past. But her obsession will come at an unexpected and devastating cost . . .
|Release Date||Mar 10, 2020|
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 'I couldn't stop reading or caring about the juicy and dysfunctional Plumb family' AMY POEHLER 'A masterfully constructed, darkly comic, and immensely captivating tale...Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney is a real talent' ELIZABETH GILBERT When black sheep Leo has a costly car accident, the Plumb siblings' much-anticipated inheritance is suddenly wiped out. His brother and sisters come together and form a plan to get back what is owed them - each grappling with their own financial and emotional turmoil from the fallout. As 'the nest' fades further from view, they must decide whether they will build their lives anew, or fight to regain the futures they had planned . . . Ferociously astute, warm and funny, The Nest is a brilliant debut chronicling the hilarity and savagery of family life.
|Author||Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney|
|Release Date||May 22, 2017|
A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK "An intense psychological drama that will be embraced by serious book clubs and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin." —Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author "A poetic, propulsive read that set my nerves jangling." —Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family—and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for—and everything she feared Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had. But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter—she doesn't behave like most children do. Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she's imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well. Then their son Sam is born—and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she'd always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth. The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.
|Release Date||Jan 05, 2021|
Well folks, there you have it! Whether you're a parent, a grandparent, a sibling or even just someone who enjoys a good family saga, it's my hope that you'll be able to find a book that resonates with you from this list. I've tried to include a variety of perspectives and experiences to truly reflect modern family life, in all its messy, wonderful chaos. Remember that every family is different and no one has it all figured out, and these books are the perfect proof. Get ready to see the family in a new light as these stories unfold. From the ups and downs, laughs and tears, all are packaged in captivating narratives that anyone can relate to. So grab a cup of tea, a blanket and give these stories a whirl. Happy reading! Please feel free to share your thoughts or other book recommendations in the comments section.
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