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Most Anticipated Fall 2021 Novels about Family & Friendship

If you’re a reader who loves stories that revolve around the dynamics of family, friendships, and just relationships in general – then this book list is just for you.  From bestselling authors you’re already acquainted with, to debut authors making their mark, we are sure you’ll find something to pique your interest. So check out our most anticipated Fall 2021 novels about family and friendship!

L.A. Weather : A Novel María Amparo Escandón

L.A. Weather by María Amparo Escandón

FORECAST: Storm clouds are on the horizon in L.A. Weather, a fun, fast-paced novel of a Mexican-American family from the author of the #1 Los Angeles Times bestseller Esperanza’s Box of Saints.

The Spectacular : A Novel Zoe Whittall

The Spectacular by Zoe Whittall

Three generations of women strive for real freedom in this startling, provocative novel exploring sexuality, gender, and maternal ambivalence, from the acclaimed author ofThe Best Kind of People.

The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova : A Novel Ruth Hogan

The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan

From the wildly popular bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things—an uplifting, slightly magical story about how it’s never too late to find out who you really are.

Bewilderment : A Novel Richard Powers

Bewilderment by Richard Powers

With its soaring descriptions of the natural world, its tantalizing vision of life beyond, and its account of a father and son’s ferocious love, Bewilderment marks Richard Powers’s most intimate and moving novel. At its heart lies the question: How can we tell our children the truth about this beautiful, imperiled planet?

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted: A Novel Jayne Allen

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen

The first novel in a captivating three-book series about modern womanhood, in which a young Black woman must rely on courage, laughter, and love–and the support of her two longtime friends–to overcome an unexpected setback that threatens the most precious thing she’s ever wanted.

The Santa Suit : A Novel Mary Kay Andrews

The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews

From May Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author of Hello, Summer, comes a novella celebrating the magic of Christmas and second chances in The Santa Suit.

A Calling for Charlie Barnes  Joshua Ferris

A Calling for Charlie Barnes by Joshua Ferris

From a National Book Award Finalist comes a novel about a modern American family and a man on a secret mission to uncover the world’s hidden truths–until his two lives come crashing together.

Out of Love : A Novel Hazel Hayes

Out of Love by Hazel Hayes

For anyone who has loved and lost, and lived to tell the tale, this gorgeously written debut is a love story told in reverse, a modern novel with the heart of a classic: truthful, tragic, and ultimately full of hope.

Crossroads : A Novel Jonathan Franzen

Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.

The Swank Hotel : A Novel Lucy Corin

The Swank Hotel by Lucy Corin

A stunningly ambitious, prescient novel about madness, generational trauma, and cultural breakdown.

Fight Night  Miriam Toews

Fight Night by Miriam Toews

From the bestselling author of Women Talking and All My Puny Sorrows, a compassionate, darkly humorous, and deeply wise new novel about three generations of women.

The Book of Mother : A Novel Violaine Huisman, Leslie Camhi

The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman, Leslie Camhi

A gorgeous, critically acclaimed debut novel about a young woman coming of age with a dazzling yet damaged mother who lived and loved in extremes.

The Ballad of Laurel Springs  Janet Beard

The Ballad of Laurel Springs by Janet Beard

From the internationally bestselling author of The Atomic City Girls, a provocative new novel about multiple generations of women in one East Tennessee family haunted by violence and redeemed by their rich inheritance of folk music.

We Are Not Like Them : A Novel Christine Pride, Jo Piazza

We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride, Jo Piazza

Told from alternating perspectives, an evocative and riveting novel about the lifelong bond between two women, one Black and one white, whose friendship is indelibly altered by a tragic event–a powerful and poignant exploration of race in America today and its devastating impact on ordinary lives.

The Survivors : A Novel Alex Schulman

The Survivors by Alex Schulman

A gripping psychological thriller: in the wake of their mother’s death, three estranged brothers return to the Swedish lakeside cottage where, more than two decades before, an unspeakable accident forever altered their family and changed the course of their lives.

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness : A Novel Claire Vaye Watkins

I Love You but I've Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

A darkly funny, soul-rending novel of love in an epoch of collapse–one woman’s furious revisiting of family, marriage, work, sex, and motherhood.

Jacket Weather  Mike DeCapite

Jacket Weather by Mike DeCapite

Nick Hornby meets Patti Smith, Mean Streets meets A Visit From the Goon Squad in this quintessential New York City story about two people who knew each other in the downtown music scene in the 1980s, meet again in the present day, and fall in love.

The Party Crasher : A Novel Sophie Kinsella

The Party Crasher by Sophie Kinsella

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Your Life comes a humorous and heartwarming novel about family, set against the backdrop of the most fabulous party you’ve ever snuck into.

MacArthur Park : A Novel Judith Freeman

MacArthur Park by Judith Freeman

A captivating, emotionally taut, beautifully written story about the complexities of a friendship between two women–and how it shapes, and reshapes, both of their lives.

Christmas by the Book  Anne Marie Ryan

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan

In small-town England, two booksellers facing tough times decide to spread some Christmas cheer through the magic of anonymous book deliveries in this uplifting holiday tale for book lovers everywhere.

The Days of Afrekete : A Novel Asali Solomon

The Days of Afrekete by Asali Solomon

From award-winning author Asali Solomon, The Days of Afrekete is a tender, surprising novel of two women at midlife who rediscover themselves–and perhaps each other, inspired by Mrs. Dalloway, Sula, and Audre Lorde’s Zami.  

Oh William! : A Novel Elizabeth Strout


Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout

Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from–and what they’ve left behind.

The Surrogate : A Novel Toni Halleen

The Surrogate by Toni Halleen

A probing novel about a newly married couple, the surrogate they hire to carry their baby, and the unexpected consequences of their decisions.

The Island of Missing Trees : A Novel Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.

A Little Hope : A Novel Ethan Joella

A Little Hope by Ethan Joella

A deeply moving, life-affirming novel about residents in a small Connecticut town facing everyday fears and desires–a lost love, a stalled career, a diagnosis–that pulls at the heartstrings and provides hope.

Our Country Friends : A Novel Gary Shteyngart

Our Country Friends by Gary Shteyngart

Eight friends, one country house, four romances, and six months in isolation–a novel about love, friendship, family, and betrayal.

The Family  Naomi Krupitsky

The Family by Naomi Krupitsky

A captivating debut novel about the tangled fates of two best friends and daughters of the Italian mafia, and a coming-of-age story of twentieth-century Brooklyn itself.

Two daughters. Two families. One inescapable fate.

The Four Humors  Mina Seckin

The Four Humors by Mina Seckin

This wry and visceral debut novel follows a young Turkish-American woman who, rather than grieving her father’s untimely death, seeks treatment for a stubborn headache and grows obsessed with a centuries-old theory of medicine.

Doctors and Friends  Kimmery Martin

Doctors and Friends by Kimmery Martin

Hannah, Compton, and Kira have been close friends since medical school, reuniting once a year for a much-needed vacation. Just as they gather to travel in Spain, an outbreak of a fast-spreading virus throws the world into chaos.

The Way We Weren't  Phoebe Fox

The Way We Weren't by Phoebe Fox

An unlikely friendship between a septuagenarian and a younger woman becomes a story of broken trust, lost love, and the unexpected blooming of hope against the longest odds.

Dava Shastri's Last Day  Kirthana Ramisetti

Dava Shastri's Last Day by Kirthana Ramisetti

In this thought-provoking and entertaining debut novel about of a multicultural family, a dying billionaire matriarch leaks news of her death early so she can examine her legacy–a decision that horrifies her children and inadvertently exposes secrets she has spent a lifetime keeping.

Wish You Were Here : A Novel Jodi Picoult

Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself–and wondering if when she goes home, she too will have evolved into someone completely different.

White on White : A Novel Aysegül Savas

White on White by Aysegül Savas

White on White is a sharp exploration of empathy and cruelty, and the stunning discovery of what it means to be truly vulnerable, and laid bare.

Are you looking forward to any of these books?

What novels with themes of family and friendship are you looking forward to in 2021?  What books would you add to the list?

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