Celeste Ng’s New York Times bestseller Little Fires Everywhere was undeniably one of 2017’s biggest book releases. With plenty of drama, family dynamics and important cultural value, how could it not be? While we all wait with bated breath for Ng’s next novel and binge through the new Hulu series, keep busy with these books like Little Fires Everywhere.
The Mothers by Brit Bennett
It’s the last summer of high school for Nadia Turner, and she’s filled with grief over the loss of her mother. Luke is the pastor’s son, a former football star whose injury led him back to his small town. Nadia and Luke begin a harmless romance, but when a pregnancy results, and the cover-up of it, their lives will be changed forever. Nadia keeps the secret from everyone, including her God-fearing best friend, Aubrey. As the years pass, the three of them are grown adults still suffering the repercussions of that one summer. They’re trapped in a delicate love triangle and plagued with “what-if” questions from the past.
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
This novel tells the story of an interracial family living in Wellington, Massachusetts. The three children of the family all take different paths in life. Levi seeks authentic blackness, Zora looks for redemption in everybody, and Jerome struggles as a believer in an atheist family. When Jerome falls for the daughter of a right-wing icon, a cultural and personal war wages. Infidelity, death, and legacy force all the characters to examine the unspoken assumptions that dictate their lives.
Family Trust by Kathy Wang
Stanley Huang claims that he is worth a small fortune. Now that he’s been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Stanley’s family is nervous to see what his estate will reveal. His son Fred is relying on this inheritance to ease professional disappointment. His daughter Kate seems to have it all, but something feels amiss. Stanley’s current wife is twenty-eight years younger than him and is starting to realize that being the caretaker for a dying old man is much harder than she anticipated. His ex-wife helped build their financial security and is set on making sure her children get their share. As death draws closer to Stanley, the Huangs face challenges that turn their lives and beliefs around, forcing them to confront what they actually value and desire.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
The Lees are a Chinese American family living in small-town Ohio during the 1970s. Lydia is the favorite child, and her parents are sure that she will accomplish everything they never had the opportunity to. But when Lydia’s body is found in a lake, the delicate string holding together the Lee family is severed, and they tumble into chaos. This deeply moving, page-turning story explores family and secrets, and the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle to understand each other.
The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland
Most people can’t imagine leaving River Bend, Michigan, but three women couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Now, they each must return. Linda Williams is never sure of what she wants. Her mother, Paula, is too sure. And Beth DeWitt is one of River Bend’s only black daughters. She’s now a mother of two and always planned on raising her kids anywhere but River Bend. The three women collide at Beth’s father’s house, and love affairs and secrets of the town come to light. Linda, Paula, and Beth learn what home really is, and how to make peace with everything you left behind.
Every Kind of Wanting by Gina Frangello
Miguel Guerra grew up impoverished in Venezuela, and could not be more different than his partner, Chad Merry, a successful real estate mogul from Chicago’s affluent North Shore. When Chad’s sister, Gretchen, offers them her eggs in the midst of her crumbling marriage, Miguel and Chad search for a surrogate. They decide on an old friend of Miguel’s, Emily, who is married to Nick with whom she is raising two boys. In the middle of these three separate couples is Lina, Miguels’ younger sister. She serves as the narrator and falls into a passionate affair with Nick. This novel explores the complex dynamics between three unique families and the pasts that shape them all.
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
In this novel about three mothers living in the Pirriwee Peninsula, a wealthy area of Australia, everyone’s lives appear to be perfect from the outside. Jane and her son, Ziggy, assume they are the exception until secrets begin to surface around the neighborhood – reminding everyone around that things aren’t always as they appear.
Devotion by Madeline Stevens
Just when Ella believes she has hit rock bottom, a wealthy Upper East Side couple offers her the dream role as their nanny. Now her days are spent in a luxury high-rise, caring for their baby and traveling on their dime. But as she settles in, she soon becomes obsessed with Lonnie, the mother. She meticulously studies her, trying to become more like her… and she can’t seem to stop herself.
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
In this New York Times bestseller about love, loss, powerful friendship and resilience, two neighboring families anxiously await the arrival of their adoptive infant daughters from Korea. But tragedy strikes, and the affects are felt for decades to come.
Tangerine by Christine Mangan
It’s the 1950s and Alice and her husband have just moved to Tangier for his work. As the happy couple settles in, Alice becomes more comfortable and able to leave her past behind – that is, until Lucy Mason comes for an unexpected visit. But something’s not right about Lucy although she seems perfectly sweet… and Alice might not be able to put her finger on it until it’s too late.
Little Broken Things by Nicole Baart
Quinn and her sister Nora have had a strained relationship – Nora is flighty and secretive, but when she texts Quinn about a “surprise,” Quinn feels hopeful at the chance to reconcile. Instead, Nora shows up with a scared child, begging Quinn to keep her safe. And just like that, Nora is gone again, leaving Quinn to care for the child and wonder what Nora has gotten herself into.
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Commonwealth spans 50 years and follows the Keatings and the Cousins – two very broken families whose lives have become entwined through love, lust, loyalties and lies over the decades. Readers trace back to the choices four parents made when their families were young, that shaped the path for the six children’s lives today.
Tracing the Bones by Elise A. Miller
When Anna and Billy move in next door, Eve becomes entranced by the enigmatic couple and needs to know more about them. Taking up healing sessions with Billy, Eve weaves her way into the family deeper than she’d ever expected and as her life unravels, she must find a way to save everyone around her.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Young Deming’s world is thrown into chaos when his undocumented immigrant mother goes to work one morning and never comes back. Adopted by an American family and given a new name, the boy must find a way to assimilate into his new life while mourning his past. Told by both Deming and his mother, this story tests the bond of mother and son.
The Year of Necessary Lies by Kris Radish
Julia is a force to be reckoned with when she discovers the true power of women in the early 1900s. One year will take this woman to dangerous places and force her to keep vital secrets her great-granddaughter will one day discover. Now, that granddaughter must decide to share her findings or keep them to herself.
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
Turning his back on Angelina and their possible future seemed like the right choice to Adam Sharp when he was young. Now, married, and looking back at his life, Adam finds himself asking “what if?” When Angelina reaches out again, Adam must decide if a second chance is worth the risk.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Homebody Eleanor’s world is turned on its head when she meets Raymond, the IT guy from work. Can she open her heart to somebody else in order to live the life she was destined to live?
Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
Two families brought together by extreme circumstance are at the heart of this suspenseful read. When Isma leaves to pursue her dream in America, she must consider what she is leaving behind and prepare herself for a complicated future where she will be forced to accept the intense powers of family and true love.
(Feature image courtesy of @casebounder)
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