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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.
Irish woman returns home to face old secrets, discover her past and build a future. You know the sort of thing only this one is really nicely done, truly engaging and satisfying. Her first novel, Waiting in the Wings, won the Romantic Novelistsâ€™ Association New Writers award and from then on she has just got stronger. Comparison: Kate Thompson, Lisa Jewell, Jane Green. Similar this month: Louise Kean, Chris Manby.
As the chics who started the chic-lit trend get older, so too does their subject matter. This lovely writer is now into book number seven and tackles the fear of committing to a baby, the girl’s fear! Nice one.Comparison: Fiona Walker, Sheila O’Flanagan, Catherine Alliott.Similar this month: Jill Mansell, Sarah Jackman.
Four strangers with life crises unite in a Greek taverna and witness a tragedy. This author is so warm and infectious, so perceptive and absorbing, it’s like dropping in on an old friend for gossip and advice. This title is also available as an Audiobook, in CD format.Comparison: Deirdre Purcell, Erica James, Amanda Brookfield.Similar this month: None, but try Jill Mansell or Rosie Thomas.
Coupland came to fame with Generation X which became a cult classic and for years afterwards he was pigeon-holed a cult author. Well he has grown up or matured, call it what you will, his subject matter is now mainstream, his writing beautifully crafted and this is a sensitive, accessible novel of loneliness, the past catching up and unexpected fulfilment. It is first-rate and anyone interested in literature today should read him.Comparison: Iain Banks, Alex Garland, Graham Swift.Similar this month: Jonathan Coe, Hitomi Kanchara.
The story of a family and the peeling away of their exterior skins slowly revealing the inner truths. It’s wise, drily humorous, deeply engaging and very satisfying. I’ve always loved Dewar’s work, and this, a larger canvas than norm for her, is definitely one of her best. Highly recommended.Comparison: Elizabeth Buchan, Joanna Trollope, Anita Shreve, Joanne Harris, Anne Tyler.Similar this month: Harry Bingham, Cecilia Ahern.
Artist's daughter Penelope Keeling can look back on a full and varied life: a Bohemian childhood in London and Cornwall, an unhappy wartime marriage, and the one man she truly loved. She has brought up three children - and learned to accept them as they are. Yet she is far too energetic and independent to settle sweetly into pensioned-off old-age. And when she discovers that her most treasured possession, her father's painting, The Shell Seekers, is now worth a small fortune, it is Penelope who must make the decisions that will determine whether her family can continue to survive as a family, or be split apart.
34-year old Esther has devoted her life to looking after her adored paraplegic brother while illustrating the odd children’s book, waitressing and indulging routinely in her married lover. She’s content. Then a friend’s child jolts her memory and subsequently her life. We now backtrack to her shambolic childhood and her charismatic brother, before returning to follow their present predicament. With startling cameos, magical moments, eccentric characters and a zest for life that is truly infectious, this is an enchanting family saga, poignant, beautifully written, a must read.Comparison: Kate Atkinson, Katie Fforde, Lisa Jewell.Similar this month: Carmen Reid, Cecilia Ahern.
Kidnapped at 3 by a lonely alcoholic back-woods recluse, Cate, now 15, kills a man and her surrogate father, unable to cope, takes her back to her middle-class mother. So begins this powerful original tale of reconciliation, acceptance and re-evaluation. It falters a little in the middle, as first novels often do, but it is sensitive and thought provoking. The hardback was published as The Reckoning and it reverts now to its original, self-published title as chosen by its 74-year old author.Comparison: Alice Sebold, Alice Hoffman, Jane Yardley.Similar this month: Clare Chambers, Ben Sherwood.
We were first introduced to the young Calvin Becker on holiday in Italy in Portofino where lust and longing clashed with his religious upbringing in one of the most delightful novels Iâd read for a long time. Iâve had to wait eight years for the boy to reappear only a couple of years older and on holiday again. His family seem more zealously religious than ever and Calvin, bless him, more lusty, but still innocent at 14. Donât read this if you are a little pious as the church does come in for a bit of a bashing but do read it if you want a perfect gem of a rites-of-passage comedy. I truly loved it.Comparison: John Harding, Nick Hornby, David Nicholls.Similar this month: Matt Beaumont, Jim Keeble.
An addictive father/stepson relationship tale where each badly needs the other when the lover/mother disappears. Fighting the various authorities, the boyâ€™s natural father and all sorts of complicated emotions, it is a highly sensitive, deeply affecting gem. Its simplicity in style and delivery add to the poignancy.Comparison: Nick Hornby, Tony Parsons, Claire Calman.Similar this month: William Sutcliffe, Jonathan Tropper.
One of the best comic relationship tales Iâ€™ve read. Its wacky scenario of an Australian couple (top of the range duplex with pool) swapping their house with a Leicester couple (semi on council estate) as each woman needs to sort out their husbands, is a pure delight. The cultural differences, friends, neighbours â€“ the whole experience â€“ is portrayed with genuine wit which really made me laugh out loud. Youâ€™ve got to read this.Comparison: Katie Fforde, Sue Townsend, Meera Syal.Similar this month: Claudia Carroll, Daisy Waugh.
British romantic suspense par excellence. She mixes human relationships, the highs and lows of different loves, a terrorist plot which is quite frightening and lots of drama, together in an explosive cocktail. Warning, have Kleenexes to hand by the end. She is a highly competent, dramatic author with lots of backlist to get hooked into.Comparison: Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Sidney Sheldon.Similar this month: None, but try Nicholas Sparks, Sarah Rayne.
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.