Family get-togethers. Arguments over how to best cook the turkey, or ham, or roast beast. Trying to find the perfect present for people who have everything. Sibling rivalry. In-law squabbling.
The thought of these things makes me want to hide under the covers and order Chinese food.
If you think your family is complicated, try these reads. While they are not happy go lucky, they might make you feel better about your own situation.
Between Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson is described on Goodreads as:"In the tiny Georgia hamlet of Between (population: 91), the only news is the seemingly never-ending feud between the Crabtrees and the Fretts. Caught at the crux of the quarrel is Nonny Frett, the biological daughter of impoverished teenager Hazel Crabtree. Soon after her birth, Nonny was left "on the better side of the tracks" with the relatively affluent Frett ...moreIn the tiny Georgia hamlet of Between (population: 91), the only news is the seemingly never-ending feud between the Crabtrees and the Fretts. Caught at the crux of the quarrel is Nonny Frett, the biological daughter of impoverished teenager Hazel Crabtree. Soon after her birth, Nonny was left "on the better side of the tracks" with the relatively affluent Frett family. Now grown up and badly married, this true "betweener" must confront old family conflicts as she negotiates a new life and motherhood."
I couldn't put this book down when I read it several years ago. It has very tangled family roots and secrets.
Another is Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen. Again from Goodreads: "Family and Other Accidents tells the story of these brothers from their viewpoints as well as from those of their girlfriends, wives, and children. It is a story of what it means to be a family, to love unconditionally in the face of confusion, anger, and regret. Shari Goldhagen’s debut is a finely nuanced, universally resonant portrait of the ties, however strange or awkward, that bind families together through the decades."
When I originally read it, I gave this 3 1/2 stars, but the title has stuck with me. Everytime I see it on the shelf, I want to hand it to someone, but I realize it's pretty intense.
If you are looking for less dramatic reads, I recommend any of Joanna Trollope's books.Other People's Children and Marrying the Mistress are two of my favorites. I actually purchased these! (I rarely buy books) While these are lighter reads, Trollope deftly handles loss, pain, and regret. I feel that I know her characters and would like to befriend most of them.
I'll leave you with another favorite of mine About A Boy by Nick Hornby. While these titles are older, I want to be sure to get the word out. This selection was a New York Times Notable Book for 1998. And yes, it was made into a movie with the delicious Hugh Grant, but the book is better. Will is an aimless 30 something looking for meaning in his life, when Marcus, a young outcast enters his life. The two find themselves in an unorthodox relationship and learn more about themselves through each other.
I hope you enjoy these. Now I'm back to holiday planning. Don't forget to use our affiliate links if you are purchasing from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Better World Books. Your purchases help the library!
Learn More Here