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.
In Strasbourg, in the boiling hot summer of 1518, a plague strikes the women of the city. First it is just one – a lone figure, dancing in the main square – but she is joined by more and more and the city authorities declare an emergency. Musicians will be brought in. The devil will be danced out of these women. Just beyond the city’s limits, pregnant Lisbet lives with her mother-in-law and husband, tending the bees that are their livelihood. Her best friend Ida visits regularly and Lisbet is so looking forward to sharing life and motherhood with her. And then, just as the first woman begins to dance in the city, Lisbet’s sister-in-law Nethe returns from six years’ penance in the mountains for an unknown crime. No one – not even Ida – will tell Lisbet what Nethe did all those years ago, and Nethe herself will not speak a word about it. It is the beginning of a few weeks that will change everything for Lisbet – her understanding of what it is to love and be loved, and her determination to survive at all costs for the baby she is carrying. Lisbet and Nethe and Ida soon find themselves pushing at the boundaries of their existence – but they’re dancing to a dangerous tune . . .
Two brothers divided over the future of a country on the brink of revolution. An epic story of nautical adventure and a battle for freedom by the master of adventure fiction. 1774 Rob Courtney is growing up in Fort Auspice, Nativity Bay, a trading outpost on the east coast of Africa and has always dreamed of going to sea. When his grandfather Jim Courtney dies, and the mysterious Captain Marston calls into the fort, Robert's passion is ignited and he stows away on Marston's ship as it sails to England. Arriving in London, Rob is seduced by its charms and makes friends with a group of fast-living men and ends up in terrible debt. Desperate and penniless, Rob can see no way out. That is until the navy comes calling. Rob enlists and is taken downriver to join a ship ready to cross the Atlantic and join the growing war against the rebellious American colonists. Meanwhile, in America, Theo Courtney's two sons are coming of age in a society ever more divided between those loyal to the crown, and those who seek independence for the American colonies. Even the family is divided, with Theo's oldest son Cal an ardent American patriot, while Theo himself feels a strong tie to his mother country, England. When he sees his younger brother, Aidan, killed in a fierce battle with the British troops, Cal vows he will not rest until he has avenged his brother's death by driving the British out of America - once and for all . . . A powerful new thriller by the master of adventure fiction, Wilbur Smith, of families divided and a country on the brink of revolution.
Sometimes your biggest mistake can also be a blessing . . . Madison has always known she had a different father to her siblings. But it wasn't until she turned eighteen that she learned his name. And now she wants to meet the man who shares her fair hair and blue eyes. Robert is a very lucky man. A big house, beautiful wife, three handsome sons. Eighteen years ago, he made a mistake. A brief fling that resulted in a daughter nobody else knows about. Robert must finally tell his family the truth. Will they ever be able to forgive him and accept Madison as one of their own?
So exquisitely haunting it hurts, Sundial slithers into thoughts to carve out a spot and make itself at home. Fearing for the future of both her daughters, Rob takes troubled Callie to her own childhood home in the Mojave Desert and revisits the past. I have been of fan of Catriona Ward since her debut Rawblood, each of her subsequent novels has become my new favourite, and that is most certainly the case here. Just reading the synopsis sent a shiver through me, I had to have this book! As I started to read, goosebumps shivered and skittered their way down my skin to declare just how special this was going to be. A quiet menace slipped past my boundaries to create a heightened sense of fear for what was to come. The smallest yet most vital of moments are created to tip feelings already in the balance. Trust is a scare commodity, love though, love is more than evident as mother and daughter test their relationship. There is also a grace to be found, in the eloquence of words as they slice and then stitch to form the most vividly real and vibrant story. Sundial is an intensely dark and blazingly beautiful novel about the love that can hold us together, or shatter us into pieces. This stunning tale that hovers on a sharp edge of horror has been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book, and Liz Pick of the Month, it will undoubtedly be one of my books of the year.
A heart-wrenching and beautifully told debut novel about love, family obligation and finding your way. Nur and Yasmina are in love They've been together for four happy years But Nur's parents don't know that Yasmina exists As Nur's family counts down to midnight on New Year's Eve, Nur is watching the clock more closely than most: he has made a pact with himself, and with his girlfriend, Yasmina, that at midnight he will finally tell his Pakistani parents the truth. That he has spent years hiding his personal life from them to preserve his image as the golden child. That he has built a life with a woman he loves and she is Black. Nur wants to be the good son his parents ask him to be, and the good boyfriend Yasmina needs him to be. But as everything he holds dear is challenged, he is forced to ask, is love really a choice for a second-generation immigrant son like him? Deftly exploring family obligation and racial prejudice alongside the flush of first love, Good Intentions is a captivating and powerful modern love story that announces a thrilling new voice in British fiction.
Twenty-five years after the iconic, 1.5 million-copy bestseller Rachel's Holiday burst into our lives, Rachel's BACK! Pre-order Marian Keyes' hilarious, heart-warming sequel, Again, Rachel, NOW. Back in the long ago nineties, Rachel Walsh was a mess. But a spell in rehab transformed everything. Life became very good, very quickly. These days, Rachel has love, family, a great job as an addiction counsellor, she even gardens. Her only bad habit is a fondness for expensive trainers. But with the sudden reappearance of a man she'd once loved, her life wobbles. She'd thought she was settled. Fixed forever. Is she about to discover that no matter what our age, everything can change? Is it time to think again, Rachel?
Infused with Prague’s spectral atmosphere and a powerfully haunting evocation of mental illness (and finding a way through it), Renee Branum’s Defenestrate feels at once utterly unique and entirely authentic. At its heart is an exploration of how we tell ourselves stories to cope with trauma, depression, repression, feeling disengaged with the world, and how we might find a place in the world after many falls. Written in short, shard-like episodes, this bold, enigmatic novel speaks to the soul in unexpected ways. Twins Marta and Nick have been haunted by the tragic tale of their great-great-grandfather Jiri for their entire lives. The story goes that he was pushed to his death in his native Prague, whereupon his family left the city to make a new life in the American Midwest. In the throes of a Buster Keaton obsession since childhood, the twins spend time in Prague as adults, two lost souls, evasive of reality, with their religious mother struggling to accept that Nick is gay. In this city that exudes a “mythic glow”, Marta comes to realise that they’re not living, that Nick is sinking: “I saw the ways the city had took shape in Nick, watching the liquor reach his veins, and spread along them like a highlighter over the correct route on a road map.” When he’s seriously injured after falling from a window, Marta wonders whether the fall was intentional. She’s stirred to try to ground herself, to stop her family from falling apart for good. Realising that faith has many forms, that you can have faith “in your own life, in the unseen shapes the world sometimes takes, in the stories you tell yourself to gain back trust”, she comes to a kind of peace: “If we still live, we live more carefully, hopefully.”
Beautifully glorious, this book danced into my heart and soul and I want to dangle from the rooftops to shout about it. Since Em was born Delphine has spent her time as a single mum protecting her daughter and a secret, as she begins to taste the joy of life, her past starts to unravel. This compassionate, generous, and heart-warming novel about being brave and second chances deserves to be a huge hit. I adored Beth Morrey’s debut, the LoveReading Star Book, Saving Missy, and Beth’s unique touch is just as evident in Em & Me. She has the ability to take your thoughts into unexplored places yet plant the story in vibrantly authentic circumstances. She also develops the most charmingly relatable characters, they become known, cared for, a part of you. The plot weaves and flows through good and dark times with eloquence and empathy. I stepped into this book with trust, and came out with my heart full of warmth and emotion. Yes, I know I’m being rather gushy, but I seriously love this book! A LoveReading Star Book and Liz Pick of the Month, the wonderful Em & Me is delightfully rewarding novel I’ll be recommending far and wide.
Everyone wants to discover what they're made of . . . Juggling lives and crossing continents, BLACK CAKE is the extraordinary story of how the inheritance of secrets, betrayal and memories can shape a family for generations 'We can't go to the island, Bryon. We don't really know what we're getting into . . .' Eleanor Bennett won't let her own death get in the way of the truth. So when her estranged children - Byron and Benny - reunite for her funeral in California, they discover a puzzling inheritance. First, a voice recording in which everything Byron and Benny ever knew about their family is upended. Their mother narrates a tumultuous story about a headstrong young woman who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder, a story which cuts right to the heart of the rift that's separated Byron and Benny. Second, a traditional Caribbean black cake made from a family recipe with a long history that Eleanor hopes will heal the wounds of the past. Can Byron and Benny fulfil their mother's final request to 'share the black cake when the time is right'? Will Eleanor's revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?
Their school is about to be taught a lesson… Beverley Franklin will do whatever it takes to protect her local school’s reputation. So when a scandal involving her own daughter threatens to derail the annual school musical’s appearance on national television, Beverley goes into overdrive. But in her efforts to protect her daughter and keep the musical on track, she misses what’s really going, both in her own house and in the insular Glass Lake community – with dramatic consequences. Glass Lake primary school’s reputation is about to be shattered…
I read this beautifully stormy dark gothic mystery while perched high up on the edge of my seat. A dreadful fire has haunted Ivy for years, she mourns two deaths, and now seeks the truth. Beth Underdown’s debut The Witchfinder's Sister was a bestseller and winner of the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award 2017, this is her second novel and it more than lived up to my expectations. The two time frames, sitting either side of the First World War, are initially fractured before they gradually fuze together. Information dripped and then seeped into the pages before hiding in my thoughts. The story is secretive, occasionally sullen as it begins to unfurl. Cornwall, and the house in particular cast a brooding presence which adds to the intensity of this tale. The characters are perfectly imperfect, trust is a scare commodity, and each casts a deep shadow. I was held in limbo while I read, totally immersed in the writing. Expressively powerful The Key in the Lock thrills and chills in equal measure. Chosen as a Liz Robinson Pick of the Month and LoveReading Star Book, this historical mystery is a worthy contender for the very top of your reading list.
From Tessa Hadley, bestselling author of Late in the Day and The Past, comes a compulsive new novel about one woman's sexual and intellectual awakening in 1960s London 1967. While London comes alive with the new youth revolution, the suburban Fischer family seems to belong to an older world of conventional stability: pretty, dutiful homemaker Phyllis is married to Roger, a devoted father with a career in the Foreign Office. Their children are Colette, a bookish teenager, and Hugh, the golden boy. But when the twenty-something son of an old friend pays the Fischers a visit one hot summer evening, and kisses Phyllis in the dark garden after dinner, something in her catches fire. Newly awake to the world, Phyllis makes a choice that defies all expectations of her as a wife and a mother. Nothing in these ordinary lives is so ordinary after all, it turns out, as the family's upheaval mirrors the dramatic transformation of the society around them. With scalpel-sharp insight, Tessa Hadley explores her characters' inner worlds, laying bare their fears and longings. Daring and sensual, Free Love is a compulsive, irresistible exploration of romantic love, sexual freedom and living out the truest and most meaningful version of our lives.