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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.
A novel about grief and rebuilding which could border on the depressive but actually is so beautifully written and so tenderly handled it is uplifting, funny, warm and eventually joyous. The style completely wins you over, you feel for Sophie all the way, she’s quite a woman and this is a wonderful first novel.Comparison: Adriana Trigiani, Fannie Flagg, Rebecca Wells.Similar this month: Nicholas Sparks, Lou Wakefield.
An author with an amazing insight into people and what makes them tick, spins a highly absorbing tale of a damaged family, of old loves, complicated relationships and terrible jealousies. She has recently changed publisher and been given greater exposure. I believe she is a major talent to watch for the future. Try her The Childrenâ€™s Hour too.Comparison: Rosamunde Pilcher, Eileen Ramsay, Jojo Moyes.Similar this month: Erica James, Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees.
A professional family are trying to sell their house in Essex and move back to London but there seems to be a poltergeist which creates mayhem whenever prospective purchases view. Our narrator, 15-year old Jo, and her friend try to solve the mystery. What develops, in this darkly funny, original novel of a dysfunctional family, marvellously evokes a picture of teenagers growing up in the 70s. The characterisation is superb, highly recommended.Comparison: Kate Atkinson, Laurie Graham, Mavis Cheek.Similar this month: Andrew Rosenheim, Jonathan Tropper.
Totally delicious romp set in a crumbling Irish mansion peopled by the eccentric gentry who save it by taking in an equally eccentric but very different bunch of film folk. It’s lightly satirical, wholly funny, gorgeously romantic and tenderly heartwarming. A pure joy.Comparison: Wendy Holden, Victoria Clayton, Julian Fellowes.Similar this month: Lou Wakefield, Daisy Waugh.
A writer with her finger well and truly on the pulse of modern family life. This takes us on holiday to the Caribbean with a group of friends who have been holidaying together for years, nice comfortable stuff until sex raises its ugly head. I think she is very good, astute, easy to read and infectious.Comparison: Jill Mansell, Wendy Holden, Mavis Cheek.Similar this month: Pauline McLynn, Tony Parsons.
I suppose it is easily done; chatting in the chemist as you follow a disgruntled customer who leaves his medication which you pick up by mistake and then take? Well, thatâ€™s how our Dad of two teenagers falls into his coma. This is a tale of how the teenagers cope, how Dad copes once heâ€™s awake and how the family cope, making this fresh American novel so poignant and refreshingly different.Comparison: Alice Sebold, John Harding, Ben Sherwood.Similar this month: Tony Parsons, Glen Duncan.
American small town life, teeming with immigrants supported by the local mine. We follow five siblings as they grow away from, and return to, their roots during the boom post World War II years. Then comes Vietnam. Through births and deaths, tragedy and success we follow the American dream in an intimate family saga. I loved it.Comparison: Anne Tyler, Elinor Lipman, Carol Shields.Similar this month: Adriana Trigiani, Penny Sumner.
Told almost entirely in one-sided emails, a tale of sibling love and support when cancer looms and of juggling a career when the big break comes at the same time. The format, making it a fast, easy read, never allows time for depth of emotion, but it did bring a tear to my eye.Comparisons: Cecelia Ahern, Jane Moore.Similar this month: Jessica Adams, Alison Bond.
I am sure you will probably remember the epic love story, The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCulloughâ€™s memorable early novel set in Australia. Angel is a novel of excitement, adventure, laughter, passion and more than a little magic and it is definitely Colleen McCullough at her vintage best. It draws on her own experiences of living in Sydney in the 1960s and writing of a world that has long gone. Most of all, it is a tale of a woman's love for a child, and what she is prepared to endure to ensure her survival. Comparisons: Santa Montefiore, Jojo Moyes
This is Katie’s tenth novel, I think she is wonderful. Good, old-fashioned storytelling, warm-hearted, addictive and very satisfying. She started writing when that awful phrase ‘aga saga’ became prevalent and in many ways got tainted by being lumped with a lot of uninspiring novels that tackled bored middleclass women trying to find some purpose in their lives. Joanna Trollope was swept into the same bracket for a time although Katie is slightly lighter than Joanna, they both tackle serious contemporary issues. I recommend her wholeheartedly. ~ Sarah Broadhurst Comparisons: Joanna Trollope, Elizabeth Buchan, Isla Dewar.Similar this month: Alexander McCall Smith, Daisy Waugh, Jessica Adams.
Picture the Italian Alps in summer and a mixed group of canoeists going white water rafting for the first time on a glacier fed river. Parks brilliantly portrays the disparate individuals and the river in its most dangerous poise brings out qualities and failings in the most urgent fashion, provokes sudden conflicts and unexpected shifts of alliance. An ideal love affair breaks down and an apparently impossible one timidly buds. A banal disagreement turns violent. Rapids is alive with the drama of the water and the fragility of the people it bears along. Comparisons: Brian Moore, Ian McEwan, Justin Cartwright
Her first book, A Woman of Substance, introduced us to Emma Harte and although Barbara Taylor Bradford has written some twenty blockbusters, it’s the Harte family ones that really stand out. Last year Emma’s Secret appeared and we were drawn back into a new generation of the powerful dynasty. This one follows Emma’s great-granddaughters with equal drama, passion and intrigue, especially when letters are discovered from Emma to her daughter and we are swept back to the 1950s.Comparisons: Danielle Steel, Penny Vincenzi, Louise Bagshawe.Similar this month: Jojo Moyes, Julian Fellows.
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.