Our high-quality Family Drama selection offers the heart-breaking and heart-warming conflicts and dramas directly from the hearth, telling the stories of these families that have been struck by tragedy, conflict and drama and their struggle to survive intact.
Warm, Affectionate portrayal of family values, loyalties, love and chaos spilling into small-town American life. I love her. She writes fun, easy-to-read, feel-good stories, no doubt gleaned from her own Italian-American family. This one centres on the renovation of the local church and itâ€™s an absolute gem. You have a wonderful backlist to devour too.Comparison: Anne Tyler, Rebecca Wells, Fannie Flagg.Similar this month: Lorna Landvik, Cathy Kelly.
Spoilt, egotistic, musical theatre star, all me, me, me, finds there is more to life than fame. Taking in disability, lack of confidence and loneliness, itâ€™s very American and utterly delightful.Comparison: Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, Susan Fletcher.Similar this month: Noelle Harrison, Patricia Gaffney.
I donâ€™t know whether to start by telling you about the author, the book or the cover for all three are fascinating. Author first: A professional tennis player, she developed rheumatoid arthritis which put her in a wheelchair. She wrote about her courageous battle in A Will to Win. Now she is able to lead a relatively active life. The Book: An extraordinary, sensitive tale about waking up to responsibilities and living a meaningful life as a successful elder sister accepts her Down Syndrome sibling and finds the many sides of love. Warm, uplifting, emotional and very moving. Do read it. The cover: I really donâ€™t understand it! Comparison: Anna Maxted, Cecelia Ahern. Similar this month: Noelle Harrison, Lorna Landvik.
This is an odd one, part ghost story, part love story and part murder story, itâ€™s protagonist is a man who can see dead people. He is one of lifeâ€™s failures even though he could make some money out of his â€˜afflictionâ€™. Getting into all sorts of scrapes, the only thing he really wants is his wife and daughter back, attempting that is tough. Itâ€™s not really spooky but its paranormal aspects are fascinating.Comparison: Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Sebold, Ben Sherwood.Similar this month: None but do try William Landay.
Continuing the themes of her first novel, The Baby Trail, our heroine, Emma, attempts to tackle the minefields of adoption. I had no idea it was quite such hard work applying for a baby. Besides learning all about the red tape, we have large chunks of family shenanigans, the big Irish sort! I bet the author comes from such a family herself, she’s brilliant at capturing it all, a great read.Comparison: Patricia Scanlan, Cathy Kelly, Sheila O’Flanagan.Similar this month: Melissa Hill, Sophie King.
Shortlisted for the Spread the Word : Books to Talk About 2008.I adore the American small town dramatic novel, preferably with a murder, and this debut is one of the best in this area. The characterisation is superb, the prejudice and pettiness beautifully handled and the heroine has such a dilemma you really cannot see how she will get through. Suspenseful, addictive and truly memorable, it is a must-read if ever there was one.Comparison: Adriana Trigiani, Rebecca Wells, Alice Hoffman.Similar this month: None, but try Annabel Dilke or Nicky Pellegrino.
Fans of Vincenzi may not feel this is her best book, though if you are a fan that’s not likely to stop you reading it, but if you’re new to her you’re better of starting elsewhere (such as No Angel or Old Sins). Three different women who meet travelling the world at the end of their teens have grown up to have lives very different lives. But one of them has been harbouring a secret all these years about the baby she bore and abandoned and now that baby is a teenager herself and looking for her birth mother these women’s lives are thrust back together.Comparison: Judith Lennox, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Julian Fellowes.Similar this month: Diana Appleyard, Santa Montefiore.
The title says it all for this is Italy and food, emotions and secrets, loyalties and a sense of place as three generations of women escape or return to this bewitching southern region. A really pleasant, comfortable, dual-time tale.Comparison: Joanne Harris, Elizabeth Buchan, Sarah Harrison.Similar this month: Sara MacDonald, Lisa Jewell.
A wonderful author whom I always look forward to so I picked this up with great alacrity and found it absorbing but not one of her best. It is the story of four sisters beginning before World War I and following their lives, loves, marriages, heartaches and disasters over several decades. Full of period detail and bags of plot, it should have hit the mark but although a lovely read, the author has written better so try her earlier books too.Comparison: Michelle Paver, Penny Vincenzi, Santa Montefiore.Similar this month: Sara MacDonald, Annabel Dilke.
A great bit of writing, thoroughly enjoyed. Nobbs created Reginald Perrin and is, in my mind, a comic genius. Here he tackles an odd subject, one where both people in a marriage want a sex change. How they and their teenage children adapt is beautifully handled, both with genuine humour and great sensitivity. A very fine book indeed.Comparison: Nigel Williams, Stephen Fry.Similar this month: None, but try John Mortimer for his dry humour or Peter Ackroyd for his fine writing.
I am an enormous fan of Wendy, she’s so good at gently poking fun at the middle-classes, writes in a deliciously infectious style and is the perfect feel-good, romantic comedy queen. This looks at the many pitfalls of child bearing, amusing and touching, I loved it.Comparison: Julian Fellowes, Alison Pearson, Jane Green.Similar this month: Jane Blanchard, Melissa Hill.
Whether it’s Barbara Taylor Bradford’s window into the dark secrets of dynastic powerhouses, or the hard realities of Allison Pearson’s writing: the incisively humourous observations of Nick Hornby, or the light touch of Charlotte Bingham: the engrossing passion of Jojo Moyes, or the captivating worlds conjured by Jodi Picoult and Daisy Waugh, the range of fantastic stories in the Family Drama section is almost endless. Luckily our unique expert reviews and hand-picked recommendations are here to help match you with your perfect next read. Sign up to our monthly emails to stay in touch with the latest output from warm, wise Elizabeth Buchan, insightful Kate Atkinson, sensory-stimulating Joanna Harris, huge-scale Sidney Sheldon, magical Alice Hoffman and so many more in the varied family of fantastic authors of the genre.