Our familial bonds are some of the most impactful relationships we have throughout our lives. This summer, we’ve chosen our favorite new reads all about family ties: bonds between mothers, daughters, sisters, brothers and more. Our recommendations shed light and insight on the life-giving, and oftentimes complex, dynamics of family. We hope you enjoy each of these wonderful books!
Actresses Laura Dern and Diane Ladd “take readers on an intimate tour of their lives” as they reflect on their mother-daughter relationship over the years. As Ladd ages and faces health complications, Dern finds herself by right by her side, sharing stories and thought-provoking topics and questions.
This story follows the lives of three generations of women in Hilo, Hawaii. The main character, Hi’i, explores her complicated family history through the eyes of her small, tight-knit community. “Hula is a spellbinding debut that offers a rare glimpse into a forgotten kingdom that still exists in the heart of its people.”
An ode to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and Oprah Book Club selection, Hello Beautiful tells the story of Julia and her three sisters Sylvie, Cecelia and Emeline. Their friend and great admirer, William, whose childhood was lonely and traumatic, is immediately taken by the warmth of this loving family. It is “a profoundly moving portrait of what is possible when we choose to love someone not in spite of who they are, but because of it.”
Uncover the tale of three generations of family in South India as they navigate their devastating reality: deaths by drowning that span across every generation. The Covenant of Water, chosen for Oprah’s Book Club this summer, “is humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today.”
From the author of The Glass Castle comes a new story of young Sallie Kincaid, whose mother died at the hands of her violent father. Another tragedy strikes, due to an unfortunate accident, and Sallie leaves home. Upon her return many years later, she “is determined to reclaim her place in the family” but “enters a world of conflict and lawlessness.”
“Holding Pattern is a hopeful novel about immigration and belonging, mother-daughter relationships, and the many ways we learn to hold each other.” Twenty-something Kathleen returns home after quitting graduate school and ending her long-term relationship. As she puts her life back together, she explores a new connection with her mother.
This adventure story takes place in Paris, revolving around a spur-of-the-moment whirlwind vacation between mother, Liz, and daughter, Laurie. Their relationship reaches high highs and low lows as they share secrets, dreams and fears like never before. The twist at the end is a cherry on top of this perfect beach read.