All relationships have their ups and downs, whether it’s struggles with a partner or difficulties in the family. Our Relationship Stories section shows the unique features of relationships in gloriously written technicolour.
Recent winner of the book industry’s Writer of the Year award, (which we call Nibbies like the film industry’s Oscars) and selected by Granta as one of the Best of British novelists. This, his second book, is outstanding in plot, language and ideas, an absolute must for lovers of beautiful writing. Seek out his first, The Impressionist, too. Comparison: Julian Barnes, Jim Crace, Kazuo Ishiguro. Similar this month: Kate Atkinson, Jonathan Coe.
In alternating chapters of first-person narrative, from the point of view of two devoted friends, Ian and Gemma, we follow the trials of modern marriage and a demanding life. Through infidelity, disillusion, heartache and crisis, we long for the protagonists to sort themselves out. Itâs a case of follow your heart not your friendâs advice. Keebleâs first novel, My Fat Brother, showed lots of promise (seek it out). This one proves he has what it takes.Comparison: Nick Hornby, Matt Dunn, Josie Lloyd and Emlyn Rees.Similar this month: Cecilia Ahern, Matt Beaumont.
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.
34-year old single Jess is given an internet dating ad as a birthday present and meets a series of disasters, gossiping about them at work and to her sister. You know someone along the way has got to be ‘the one’ and it’s such fun trying to guess before Jess does. When the proposal came I read through misty eyes. This is addictive, fun, spot-on stuff with family values and life appreciation thrown into the gossipy world of television. It’s fab.Comparison: Jane Blanchard, Marian Keyes, Maria Beaumont.
If you have heard of this author you might wonder why I am recommending him to you for doesn’t he write thrillers? Correct, and strange, futuristic stuff as well as historical novels. Those he will continue to do. He seems to have turned himself into a writing industry with others fleshing out his plots, co-writing with him, but this bittersweet romance is his alone. It’s a Danielle Steel look-alike, entwining two deeply touching romances. What he is so clever at is pace. He really draws you in, leaving cliff-hangers at the end of each short section so he is almost impossible to put down. You should try him.Comparisons: Danielle Steel, Nicholas Sharp, Bridges of Madison County.Similar this month: Ben Sherwood, Cecilia Ahern.
Redundant again, Melissa reinvents herself and steps out in wig and with confidence as Honey, opening an agency to help men get their lives together. This is tremendous fun as the double-life of our endearing heroine gets highly complicated and highly entertaining. It seems complete but I’m told it is the start of a series.Comparison: Sophie Kinsella, Elizabeth Buchan, Melissa Nathan.Similar this month: Karen Quinn, Jane Moore.
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.
Very early on we learn that boring, frightened Murray has only a few months to live. Have you thought about it? I have, and in many ways Iâd do what this character does â€¦ live a bit, only I hope I donât attract his problems! This is wacky stuff, written with rip-roaring pace, full of hilarious and unlikely scenarios and weird but lovable characters, a true comic novel of style. Catch his email novel, e, too and an equally crazy media one, The Book, The Film, The T-Shirt.Comparison: John OâFarrell, Mike Gayle, David Nicholls.Similar this month: Frank Schaeffer, Alistair Beaton.
I read this author’s first novel, Eden Close, and just knew that one day she would become a star. It’s taken longer than I’d expected and an Oprah Winfrey Book Club choice in America to really draw her out but now a star she most certainly is. This is her eleventh novel, a poignant, sensitive tale of loss and loneliness and one of her best. So, if you have not tried her, you are in for a treat and you have lots more as you devour her back list. Weight of Water is another stunner.Comparisons: Alice Hoffman, Robert Goddard, Anne Tyler.Similar this month: Katie Fforde, Kate Long.
Handling the problems of lovers from wildly different worlds in a captivating romance, Danielle Steel knows how to pull the heartstrings. Comparison: Nora Roberts (romances), Barbara Delinsky. Similar this month: None but try Sara MacDonald or Jane Blanchard.
Laughter and tears, sparkle and insight, all the right ingredients for a warm, spirited, sexy read which becomes quite deliciously complicated as Bella, madly in love with Jonathan, decides to keep her first (university ten years ago) failed marriage a secret. Oh, silly girl. Things go from bad to worse and you’ve got to keep frantically turning those pages to the end. Such fun. This title is also available as an Audiobook, in either CD or cassette format.Comparison: Anna Maxwell, Maria Beaumont, Maggie Alderson.Similar this month: Carmen Reid, Hester Browne.
More than just romance, Relationship Stories can really strike a chord with us, at every stage of life. Just like relationships themselves, these books and there authors come in all shapes, sizes, atmospheres and aspirations. So, if something was missing from your last relationship read … we’ll help you find it in your next one! Here you’ll find the warm and the wise (Maeve Binchy, Cathy Kelly, Rosamunde Pilcher), the deliciously sexy (Jilly Cooper, Veronica Henry), the humourous and honest (Nick Hornby), the insightful (Joanna Trollope) and the … Perhaps, though you’re looking for a new relationship? Why not try our’ Author Like for Like’ tool or make a date with our Book of the Month recommendations and find your perfect match … for now, at least!