We Are Family: Love, Conflict and Connections in New Fiction

by Karen Green

Tragedy-stricken families, reconnected families, lost and found families: this season’s diverse crop of family-based fiction is as complex and varied as any real-life family dynamic. Whether based on a bond that cannot be broken or one in need of repair, these family-centered stories are sure to engage, inspire and perhaps even make you grateful for your own unique family bond.

When it comes to the complex path that each family must walk, these stories show that, regardless of how difficult the trail may be, it’s good to walk with someone beside you. And it’s even better when your companion shares an understanding that you only have when you can look at each other and say, No matter what, we are family.

 

The Summer That Made Us by Robyn Carr


After an accident turned the family lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. None of the Hempstead women speak of what happened, and relationships between them are uneasy, at best, and hurtful, at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is for them to return to the lake and face the truth.

Family connections: mothers and daughters, sisters, cousins

 

Hannah’s List by Debbie Macomber

On the anniversary of his beloved wife’s death, Dr. Michael Everett receives a letter Hannah had written him. In it she reminds him of her love and makes one final request: I want you to marry again. She tells him he shouldn’t spend the years he has left grieving—and she’s chosen three women she asks him to consider. During the months that follow, he spends time with these three women, learning more about each of them and about himself.

Family connection: husband and wife

 

A Father’s Pledge (Songs of the Sea) by Eleanor Jones

Luke Travis may be a father, but he’s never really been a dad to Ben. When the nine-year-old is enrolled at the boarding school where Luke works, Luke knows it’s time to step up. Except his son wants nothing to do with him. And then there’s Kat Molloy, the child therapist whose “help” conflicts with everything Luke believes about raising kids. Some part of him realizes they both want what’s best for Ben—and that same part of him wonders why he’s so drawn to Kat, despite their differences. But Luke can’t risk letting romance get in the way of his relationship with his son.

Family connection: father and son

 

Perfectly Undone by Jamie Raintree (available October 3)

Dr. Dylan Michels has worked hard for a perfect life, so when her longtime boyfriend, Cooper, gets down on one knee, it should be the most perfect moment of all. Then why does she say no? For too many years, Dylan’s been living for her sister, who never got the chance to grow up. But her attempt to be the perfect daughter, perfect partner and perfect doctor hasn’t been enough to silence the haunting guilt Dylan feels over her sister’s death—and the role no one knows she played in it.

Family connections: mothers and daughters, sisters

 

The Littlest Boss (The Cleaning Crew) by Janet Lee Nye

Successful ER nurse Tiana Nelson has sacrificed a lot to provide for her daughter, Lily. She won’t let anything, or anyone, jeopardize all she’s accomplished. Not even handsome and charming engineer DeShawn Adams. But she’s running into him everywhere, and when he connects with Lily, ignoring their attraction is impossible. After an unexpected visit from DeShawn’s past, it’s clear that his life isn’t as settled as it seems. Tiana can’t expose Lily to danger, but walking away from DeShawn isn’t easy.

Family connection: mothers and daughter

 

What family dramas are you looking forward to reading this fall? Let us know in the comments!

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