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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.
Follow the weird and wonderful history of the Fairfax family in this thoroughly enjoyable quirk novel from Kate Atkinson. Nothing is ever predictable in Atkinson’s novels but there is always plenty to feed your imagination.
A 2011 World Book Night selection. Rachel Walsh has a pair of size 8 feet and such a fondness for recreational drugs that her family has forked out the cash for a spell in Cloisters - Dublin's answer to the Betty Ford Clinic. She's only agreed to her incarceration because she's heard that rehab is wall-to-wall jacuzzis, gymnasiums and rock stars going tepid turkey. Our Editorial Guru, Sarah Broadhurst, has suggested others book and authors that would be perfect for you to read next or to pass on the recommendation - so your gift will keep on giving enjoyment. Her selections for this title are: Sheila O'Flanagan, Lisa Jewell.
March 2014 Guest Editor Jojo Moyes on Behind the Scenes at the Museum. I would, frankly, read Kate Atkinson's shopping list. This was the first book which really made me understand the importance of 'voice'. She's a writer who inspires as she's brave, and inventive, and you never know where her novels are going to go next, all too rare a trait, in my opinion. The Lovereading view... This is very special. Even with all she has written since and with her change of direction into crime mysteries this, her first novel, in my mind still stands out as her best. It is simply just the life of Ruby and her dysfunctional family. It’s warm, addictive, quite wonderful – and quite unlike anything else she has written. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘I have a vivid memory of the first time I read the first page of Kate Atkinson’s first novel. It was nearly 10 years after I’d left York and in a page I was back there, in the streets around the Minster – transported by the voice of an unborn child to a world that was familiar but warped. Never mind its unusual developmental stage, the voice was immediately distinct, a little mad, a little caustic, and yet brilliantly true and completely hilarious. It was delicious. Behind the Scenes at the Museum is in a class of its own. The odd structure, tone, cast of characters all made it unique, exciting , a bit disturbing and utterly captivating. It made me laugh and it made me cry. I think it is a masterpiece.' Susanna Wadeson, Publishing Director at Transworld
Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Hardborough becomes a battleground. Florence has tried to change the way things have always been done, and as a result, she has to take on not only the people who have made themselves important, but natural and even supernatural forces too. Her fate will strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice. Click here to read Penelope Fitzgerald's son-in-law discuss her legacy to coincide with the 100th anniversary of her birth.
Author shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2011. One of Erica James' favourite books. After a terrible family tragedy Ian Bedloe seeks guidance at the aptly named Church of the Second Chance. For the next 20 years he tries to make amends for the things that happened to his family. Intricate story lines and characters seem to effortlessly flow together and the uplifting ending makes this a brilliant family drama. August 2009 Guest Editor Erica James on ANNE TYLER Similarly Anne Tyler’s novels deal with the every day ups and downs of relationships and family life. She has a wonderful knack for creating totally believable but wholly ordinary characters to whom we can all relate. Nobody does domestic drama better than Anne Tyler and she is the standard to which I aspire!
For a “literary” family saga, it’s hard to beat A Thousand Acres, set in Iowa; Jane Smiley’s novel is a modern retelling of the King Lear story. A novel to sweep you up and carry you along as the tragic story of this thousand acres of the best black, densest, deepest earth unfolds. Like for Like Reading: The Way the Crow Flies, Ann-Marie MacDonaldMiddlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
Full to the brim with ready wit and arch social commentary, this amusing and intelligent book is as relevant today as it was when published nearly 200 years ago. If you haven't previously read any of Austen’s works, this is the perfect place to start, it’s one of her lesser known but more stimulating and provocative novels. Quite literally a book of two halves, we have a story of a young woman learning the difference between reality and fantasy and then a consummate commentary from the author on the literary world at the time. Austen introduces an almost anti-heroine, a kind, caring but not particularly captivating Catherine, then surrounds her with four fascinatingly different characters who range from compassionate, intelligent and gracious to self obsessed, mercenary and petulant. As well as the engaging story, you also discover an author who appears to be somewhat on the warpath. She actually talks to you from the page, her views are so clear, you could be having a face-to-face discussion with her. If you already know Northanger Abbey, reacquaint yourself with this fascinating novel. This actual edition is charming, a perfect size for the hand bag and one to treasure.
In the summer of 1959 Nora Silk moves into a quiet suburb on Long Island with her two, young sons, a collection of Elvis records and a marked absence of husband. Her glamour and cheerfully chaotic ways immediately arouse the suspicions of the neighbourhood where life runs according to two rules - 'mind your own business and keep up your lawn'. Seventh Heaven is a lyrical, optimistic novel of yearning and desire, 'this writer can cut through to the true magic and true grit beneath' (Financial Times).
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFÉ is the story of two women in the 1980s, of gray-headed Mrs. Threadgoode telling her life story to Evelyn, who is in the sad slump of middle age. The tale she tells is also of two women—of the irrepressibly daredevilish tomboy Idgie and her friend Ruth—who back in the thirties ran a little place in Whistle Stop, Alabama, a Southern kind of Cafe Wobegon offering good barbecue and good coffee and all kinds of love and laughter, even an occasional murder. And as the past unfolds, the present—for Evelyn and for us—will never quite be the same.
A heart wrenching tale of families torn apart by abandonment and death. True tear-jerk stuff as always from Danielle Steel. A "Piece of Passion" from the publisher... ‘Poignant and moving, this classic novel shows why Danielle Steel is one of the world's favourite authors' Cat Cobain, Editorial Director at Transworld
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.