9 Books About Family Relationships to Add to Your TBR

There is every type of family! Lovely families, hateful families, traumatizing families, yet they are all families… A family does not require a father and a mother, and siblings, you can make your own family with the members that you consider necessary.

In this list, we will see a set of different family sagas that goes from psychopaths, second-generation immigrants, and even native families. They all come in all flavors and shapes, so don’t set to just one type of family when you can get traumatized by all kinds!

Middle Sexy by Jeffrey Eugenides

This novel deals with far-reaching consequences of repression and the weight of family expectations.

The breathtaking story of Calliope Stephanides and three generations of the Greek-American Stephanides family who travel from a tiny village overlooking Mount Olympus in Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit. Calliope is not like other girls, she has to uncover a guilty family secret and the astonishing genetic history that turns Callie into Cal.

I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb

This novel explores mental illness and generational trauma. A story of alienation and connection, power and abuse, devastation and renewal.

Written in a way that makes you feel that you are friends with the characters and you are leaving them behind when finishing. The novel’s central theme is how each generation has a major impact on the beliefs and behaviors of subsequent generations.


The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

This novel deals with the consequences of repression, generational trauma, and the relation between mothers and daughters.

An epic journey of Clara and her family. The convoluted story of this family through socioeconomic and political turmoil. The author transports the readers through time and multiple generations that are narrated with beauty and ease through multiple points of view and different lives. Vividly and elegantly.


The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

Sometimes hitting too closed home, The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century – a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes.

With an understanding of complex, familial relationships, Jonathan’s ability to capture his characters with depth is something that has blown people’s minds for a while. Also, he includes absurd subplots to dilute the tension of his novels.

Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

People have described this novel as beautifully fucked up, whereas the audiobook is AMAZING. In this coming of age, the novel follows Betty, a Native American girl, and her siblings, mother, father, and the nuclear family.

Rich in Cherokee folklore accompanied by a side dish of family drama. However, one should be warned about the multiple trigger warnings of child and animal abuse, incest, and rape.

Remember that the book might be a slow burner but its subject matter makes it perfect to dive little by little into the story.

Now that we have seen these options, let’s go for the more mainstream options.

Everything I never Told You by Celeste Ng

A personal favorite. A novel that I had to show to my mother that devour in days. Celeste Ng narrates the story of Lydia and how family expectations took a toll on her and her siblings.

Narrated from different points of view and times, past and present, the novel becomes an intricate thriller of deception, secrets, trauma, and neglect all sprinkled with the weight of being Asian and in the 70s in North America. Full Review here.


We Need to Talk About Kevin by

One of the most disturbing novels I have read that left me thinking “what did I just read”. Kevin did something unforgivable that nobody saw coming, but they should have. As Eva saw her song as a possible sociopathic monster, while still ignoring the possibilities of taking it further, while Franklin justified every atrocity and crime as a boy’s and kid’s thing.

Worth to have in your next book club and even for a movie club, to discuss this family dynamics, the power of motherhood, and the social implications of having a family. Full Review here.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

One of my favorite authors, and yet, I am still missing one of her books to read. I got this at an outlet for $1, ha! Was it worth it? Yes, way more than just $1. Camille Preaker was able to get away from home and her mother. The boring, dark, and hot hometown marked her physically and emotionally. Now, Camille has to go back to investigate the killings that are taking place there, and the most disturbing is that whoever is doing this, they are killing girls.

Going back to her town Camille struggles with her mental health again as she has flashbacks of the atrocities and traumas that marked her. Starting from the death of her sister, the obsession of her mother, and the town boys. Now, however, Camille has to add to the struggles dealing with her new half-sister.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet

Generational trauma passed over and over again. In The Vanishing Half, we see the story of how two sisters, although identical, still have different goals in life. Both sisters pass as white girls, and yet they take different roads. One falls for a rich white man while the other falls for a black man. Both sisters carry with them the weight of racism coming from society and from their own families. And this traumas and conceptions are sort of pass over to their own daughters.

Read the full review here to understand why this should be your next Book club pick!


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