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.
When are the boundaries of friendship pushed too far, and when is it time to stop flying over oceans for someone who wouldn't jump over a puddle for you? There comes a time when Hilary Hammond has to make that call. Hilary and Colette O'Mahony have been friends since childhood, but when irrepressible Jonathan Harpur breezes into Hilary's life and goes into business with her, Colette is not best pleased. After their first encounter Colette thinks he's a 'pushy upstart' while he thinks she's 'a snobby little diva'. And so the battle lines are drawn and Hilary is bang in the middle. But as the years roll by and each of them is faced with difficult times and tough decisions, one thing is clear ...to have a friend you must be a friend. And that's when Hilary discovers that sometimes your best friend can be your greatest enemy ...
A genuinely impressive debut. Boxer Handsome does everything great fiction should ...revealing a world that most people will never even think about. If you can't see what it is that people need from boxing, or why it somehow persists into the 21st century, then read this . (Guardian). Boxing runs in Bobby's blood. His Irish dad was a boxer. So was his Jewish grandfather. Yanked up by their collars at Clapton Bow Boys Club, taught how to box and stay out of trouble. So Bobby knows he shouldn't be messing in street brawls a week before his big fight with Connor 'the Gypsy Boy', an Irish traveller from around the way. They're fighting over Theresa: a traveller girl with Connor's name all over her. But Bobby's handsome, like his dad; boxer handsome. Set against the backdrop of contemporary East-End London, Boxer Handsome is an unsung hymn to tribal boxing history and to an angry and austere Britain, a community up against itself, 'all fighting a corner; all fighting for space. All up for a fight.' For Bobby, the ring is everywhere and he can't afford to lose.
When Felix Brewer meets nineteen-year-old Bernadette 'Bambi' Gottschalk at a dance in 1959, he charms her with wild promises. But on the Fourth of July, 1976, Bambi's world implodes when Felix, newly convicted and facing prison, mysteriously vanishes. Though Bambi has no idea where her husband - or his money - might be, she suspects one woman does: his devoted young mistress, Julie. When Julie herself disappears ten years to the day that Felix went on the lam, everyone assumes she's left to join her -old lover - until her remains are found in a secluded wooded park. Now, twenty-six years after Julie went missing, Roberto 'Sandy' Sanchez, a retired Baltimore detective working cold cases for some extra cash, is investigating her murder. What he discovers is a tangled web of bitterness, jealously, resentment and greed stretching over the three decades and three generations that connect these five very different women. And at the center of every woman's story is the man who, though long gone, has never been forgotten: the enigmatic Felix Brewer.
The life of Eileen Tumulty from 1951 to 2011, starting when she is 9 and from her point of view. In her mid-forties her son Connell becomes a teenager and we see how he feels too. Round the middle of this 620-page book Eileen’s 51-year old husband, Ed, is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and from then on the disease seizes control of the story. Financial difficulties arise as he has to give up work and extra help is needed in the house. As Ed’s health declines so Connell’s story grows. Dividing into two parts, post and pre-diagnosis, this initially paints Eileen as a very self-centred, materialistic person, later we admire her compassion, tenacity and strength of character. An excellent reading group book for it will provoke much debate on Alzheimer’s, a patient’s decline and the financial impact on relatives.
Daniel and Vanessa Parker are an American success story. He is a Washington, D.C. power broker, and she is a doctor with a thriving practice. But behind the facade, their marriage is a shambles, and their teenage son, Quentin, is self-destructing. In desperation, Daniel dusts off a long-delayed dream - a sailing trip around the world. Little does he know that the voyage he hopes will save them may destroy them instead. Half a world away, on the lawless coast of Somalia, Ismail Ibrahim is plotting the rescue of his sister, Yasmin, from the man who murdered their father. Driven to crime by love and loyalty, he hijacks ships for ransom money. There is nothing he will not do to save her, even if it means taking innocent life. Paul Derrick is the FBI's top hostage negotiator. His twin sister Megan, is a celebrated defense attorney. When Paul is called to respond to a hostage crisis at sea, he has no idea how far it will take them both into their traumatic past - or the chance it will give them to redeem the future. Across continents and oceans, through storms and civil wars, their paths converge in a single, explosive moment. It is a moment that will test them, and break them, but that will also leave behind a glimmer of hope - that out of the ashes of tragedy the seeds of justice and reconciliation can grow, not only for themselves but also for Somalia itself.
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction 2015. Stevie comes from a long line of people who have cut and run. Just like he has. Stevie's been to London, taught himself to get by, and now he's working as a labourer not so far from his childhood home in Glasgow. But he's not told his family - what's left of them - that he's back. Not yet. He's also not far from his Uncle Eric's house: another one who left - for love this time. Stevie's toughened himself up against that emotion. And as for his own mother, Lindsey ...well, she ran her whole life. From her father and Ireland, from her husband, and eventually from Stevie too. This is a powerful novel about the risk of love, and the madness and betrayals that can split a family. If you cut your ties, will you cut yourself adrift? Rachel Seiffert is an extraordinarily deft and humane writer who tells us the truth about love and about hope.
Tess Lohan appears to be a quiet child. But within lies a heart of fire. A fire that will propel her from her native Ireland into the hurly-burly of 1960s New York. In this city she will face the twists of a life graced with great beauty, but forever floating close to hazard.
Shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award 2015. Shortlisted for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award 2015. March 2015 Debut of the Month. A stunningly original debut that weaves a multitude of emotions throughout. Single parent Beth has a hard time keeping her daughter Carmel from randomly wandering off. Then, when Carmel is eight she really does get completely separated from her mother and is taken in by a ‘grandfather’ figure. Naturally one assumes the worst. He tells her that her mother has been hit by a car and is in hospital. He takes her to a derelict house in Wales and eventually tells her her mother is dead. Then he takes her to America and things get very weird. We stay with her and her first-person narrative up until she is thirteen. We see her mother during this period too and after a slow start we race into a gripping ending. The book is beautifully underwritten, intensely moving and very atmospheric. Highly recommended. Costa Judges' comment: “An exquisitely-written, insightful and wise book about mothers, daughters, loss and hope. An unputdownable read.”
March 2015 Book of the Month. An author renowned for big books has surpassed herself and written a huge, 939 page, tome. It is long, it is big, it is brilliant, perhaps her best yet. It centres on a cosmetic company set up in 1953 and now, in the present, it is beginning to flounder. The venture capitalists bring in an ace business lady, Bianca Bailey, to revitalise the company. One of the founders, Athina, now 85, still lives and tries to disrupt the changes. The original head of the flagship store, Florence, also still lives and of course there is the next generation. There are many strands to this tale both in the personal and professional lives, there are secrets and much rivalry. The planned relaunch is awesome and the whole thing one great, glorious read.
Harriet and Fletcher Tuke have worked hard to raise their children well. Daniel, the eldest son, has always accepted that his birth father died soon after he was born, and Fletcher has raised Daniel as his own. But as Daniel comes of age and begins to fall in love with childhood friend Beatrice Hart, he can't help but wonder about his heritage - his olive skin and dark eyes reminding him daily of the difference between him and his siblings, and between his and Beatrice's families. Meanwhile, shocking truths about Fletcher's own family line are suddenly brought to the surface, revealing a connection between the two families. Daniel's wish to learn about his bloodline takes him to Europe, where decisions about his future take shape. But will it be one he can share with Beatrice[unk] And as Harriet hopefully awaits his return back home on the farm, she could never imagine that answers to questions about her own family are also just on the horizon. If you enjoy books by Katie Flynn and Dilly Court, you'll love this.
The simplicity of the writing here has a magical quality that carries you effortlessly from page to page. If you have not met Don Tillman, Professor of Genetics in The Rosie Project then you are in for a treat and I do believe this book will be your favourite. If you have read the first then the freshness of Don’s voice will be familiar to you and so not as much of a delight as the first was. Now Don and Rosie are married and living in New York expecting their first baby. Expecting is the wrong word for Bud (baby under development) was not expected, it is a complete surprise to Don, not planned and therefore difficult to accept. The book is about whether he and Rosie feel he will make a suitable father. It’s absolutely beautiful. A charming exploration of human foibles, human nature and human triumphs.
March 2015 Book of the Month. James, a foot surgeon, saves a child from a peanut allergy and the girl’s grateful mother, a famous opera singer, lends him her chateau in France for a month. Out go James, his wife Flora, their two teenage daughters and boyfriends, James’ elderly father, two of his sisters, Flora’s zany mother and a French boyfriend and Flora’s ex-fiancé, now with one of her sister-in-laws. Chaos. Flora does not cope well but family secrets come out and wounds are healed. This is terrific. The sparks between mother and teenage daughter, the feelings of seeing an old flame and the general family dynamics are incredibly well drawn. Great stuff.
Tragedy Begins at Home
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.
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