Most Anticipated Summer 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 Summer 2021 novels about family and friendship!

Girl in the Walls : A Novel A. J. Gnuse

Girl in the Walls by A. J. Gnuse

A mesmerizing and suspenseful coming-of-age novel about an orphan hiding within the walls of her former family home–and about what it means to be truly seen after becoming lost in life.

Summer on the Bluffs : A Novel Sunny Hostin

Summer on the Bluffs by Sunny Hostin

Emmy Award winner, renowned lawyer and journalist, The View cohost, and National Bestselling author Sunny Hostin dazzles with this brilliant novel about a life-changing summer along the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard.

The Newcomer : A Novel Mary Kay Andrews

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews

Letty Carnahan is in trouble. She’s on the run from New York City; she has her four-year-old niece, Maya in tow, and her sister was found dead in the entry hall of her glamorous townhome.

Things We Lost to the Water : A novel Eric Nguyen

Things We Lost to the Water by Eric Nguyen

A stunning debut novel about an immigrant Vietnamese family who settles in New Orleans and struggles to remain connected to one another as their lives are inextricably reshaped.

Olympus, Texas : A Novel Stacey Swann

Olympus, Texas by Stacey Swann

A bighearted debut with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology.

Family Reunion : A Novel Nancy Thayer

Family Reunion by Nancy Thayer

A longtime Nantucket resident is trying to make the best of a lonely summer. Her spirited granddaughter is learning what she wants out of life. Unforgettable surprises await them both in this magical, multigenerational novel.

The Bookshop of Second Chances : A Novel Jackie Fraser

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser

A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller.

Leda and the Swan : A Novel Anna Caritj

Leda and the Swan by Anna Caritj

In a hothouse of collegiate sex and ambition, one young woman mysteriously disappears after a wild campus party, and another becomes obsessed with finding her.

That Summer : A Novel Jennifer Weiner

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

The Summer of Lost and Found  Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer of Lost and Found by Mary Alice Monroe

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Big Summer comes another deliciously twisty novel of intrigue, secrets, and the transformative power of female friendship.

Meeting in Positano : A Novel Goliarda Sapienza

Meeting in Positano by Goliarda Sapienza, translated by Brian Robert Moore

In this charming, deeply atmospheric novel set against the Amalfi Coast of the 1950s, two women form an intense and lasting friendship that embodies the paradoxes of Italian society.

Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty : A Novel Lauren Weisberger

Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Devil Wears Prada and When Life Gives You Lululemons comes a highly entertaining, sharply observed novel about sisters, their perfect lives . . . and their perfect lies.

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel  Elyssa Friedland

Last Summer at the Golden Hotel by Elyssa Friedland

A family reunion for the ages when two clans convene for the summer at their beloved getaway in the Catskills.

The Summer Job  Lizzy Dent

The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent

Beach Read meets Sweetbitter in this laugh-out-loud and ultimately heartwarming debut of a good friend’s very bad decision and the summer job that stands to ruin or make her life.

Beth and Amy  Virginia Kantra

Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra

Four sisters face new beginnings in this heartfelt modern take on Little Women.

The Rooftop Party : A Novel Ellen Meister

The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister

In this witty and engaging novel, Dana Barry, the Shopping Channel’s star host, stops by the company’s rooftop party to pitch the new CEO her brilliant idea that just might save the flagging business, her job and possibly her love life.

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island  Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

A love story about an eccentric community, a grieving widow, and an outsider who slowly learns that sometimes faith is more important than the facts.

The Guncle  Steven Rowley

The Guncle by Steven Rowley

From the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor comes a warm and deeply funny novel about a once-famous gay sitcom star whose unexpected family tragedy leaves him with his niece and nephew for the summer.

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot : A Novel Marianne Cronin

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

A charming, fiercely alive and disarmingly funny debut novel in the vein of John Green, Rachel Joyce, and Jojo Moyes — a brave testament to the power of living each day to the fullest, a tribute to the stories that we live, and a reminder of our unlimited capacity for friendship and love.

Malibu Rising : A Novel Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Lizzie & Dante : A Novel Mary Bly

Lizzie & Dante by Mary Bly

On the heels of a difficult break-up and a devastating diagnosis, Shakespeare scholar Lizzie Delford decides to take one last lavish vacation on Elba, the sun-kissed island off the Italian coast, with her best friend and his movie-star boyfriend. Once settled into a luxurious seaside resort, Lizzie has to make big decisions about her future, and she needs the one thing she may be running out of: time.

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton  Eleanor Ray

The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton by Eleanor Ray

For fans of The Keeper of Lost Things and Evvie Drake Starts Over comes a funny and tender debut about a reclusive artist whose collection has gotten out of control–but whose unexpected friendship with a pair of new neighbors might be just what she needs to start over.

One Two Three : A Novel Laurie Frankel

One Two Three by Laurie Frankel

From Laurie Frankel, the New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is, a Reese’s Book Club pick, comes a timely, topical novel about love and family that will make you laugh and cry…and laugh again.

All Together Now : A Novel Matthew Norman

All Together Now by Matthew Norman

A dying man brings his oldest friends together for one last beach blowout in this witty, heartfelt novel from the author of Last Couple Standing.

Morningside Heights : A Novel Joshua Henkin

Morningside Heights by Joshua Henkin

When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.

Blush  Jamie Brenner

Blush by Jamie Brenner

From acclaimed author Jamie Brenner comes a stunning new novel about three generations of women who discover that the scandalous books of their past may just be the key to saving their family’s future.

Count the Ways : A Novel Joyce Maynard

Count the Ways by Joyce Maynard

In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family–from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives.

Rock the Boat : A Novel Beck Dorey-Stein

Rock the Boat by Beck Dorey-Stein

Old friends discover how much has changed (and how much has stayed the same) when they reunite in their seaside hometown for one unforgettable summer.

Something Wild : A Novel Hanna Halperin

Something Wild by Hanna Halperin

A searing novel about the love and contradictions of sisterhood, the intoxicating desires of adolescence, and the traumas that trap mothers and daughters in cycles of violence.

Lights Out in Lincolnwood : A Novel Geoff Rodkey

Lights Out in Lincolnwood by Geoff Rodkey

A mordantly funny, all-too-real novel in the vein of Tom Perotta and Emma Straub about a suburban American family who have to figure out how to survive themselves and their neighbors in the wake of a global calamity that upends all of modern life.

Together We Will Go  J. Michael Straczynski

Together We Will Go by J. Michael Straczynski

The Breakfast Club meets The Silver Linings Playbook in this powerful, provocative, and heartfelt novel about twelve endearing strangers who come together to make the most of their final days, from New York Times bestselling and award-winning author J. Michael Straczynski.

Dear Miss Metropolitan : A Novel Carolyn Ferrell

Dear Miss Metropolitan by Carolyn Ferrell

Introducing an extraordinary and original writer whose first novel explores the intersections of grief and rage, personal strength and healing–and what we owe one another.

Shoulder Season : A Novel Christina Clancy

Shoulder Season by Christina Clancy

A dazzling portrait of a young woman coming into her own, the youthful allure of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, and what we lose–and gain–when we leave home.

The Paper Palace : A Novel Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

A story of summer, secrets, love, and lies: in the course of a singular day on Cape Cod, one woman must make a life-changing decision that has been brewing for decades.

The Tiger Mom's Tale  Lyn Liao Butler

The Tiger Mom's Tale by Lyn Liao Butler

When an American woman inherits the wealth of her Taiwanese family, she travels to confront them about their betrayals of the past in this stunning debut by Lyn Liao Butler.

I Couldn't Love You More : A Novel Esther Freud

I Couldn't Love You More by Esther Freud

A sweeping story of three generations of women, crossing from London to Ireland and back again, and the enduring effort to retrieve the secrets of the past.

All the Lonely People  Mike Gayle

All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle

If you loved A Man Called Ove, then prepare to be delighted as Jamaican immigrant Hubert rediscovers the world he’d turned his back on.

The Comfort of Monsters : A Novel Willa C. Richards

The Comfort of Monsters by Willa C. Richards

Set in Milwaukee during the “Dahmer summer” of 1991, A remarkable debut novel for fans of Mary Gaitskill and Gillian Flynn about two sisters—one who disappears, and one who is left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath.

The Startup Wife : A Novel Tahmima Anam

The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam

Newlyweds Asha and Cyrus build an app that replaces religious rituals and soon find themselves running one of the most popular social media platforms in the world.

When We Were Young  Richard Roper

When We Were Young by Richard Roper

From the author of Something to Live For, a nostalgic, heart-warming story of two long-lost friends who embark on a 184-mile walk of the Thames Path in order to find their way back to the truth, and to their friendship.

Palm Beach : A Novel Mary Adkins

Palm Beach by Mary Adkins

A thought-provoking page-turner from the author of When You Read This and Privilege that captures the painful divide between the haves and have-nots and the seductive lure of the American dream.

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 Reading List : A Novel Sara Nisha Adams

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

An unforgettable and heartwarming debut about how a chance encounter with a list of library books helps forge an unlikely friendship between two very different people in a London suburb.

The People We Keep  Allison Larkin

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

The People We Keep is the latest from the bestselling author of Stay and Swimming for Sunlight about a young songwriter longing to find a home in the world.

We Are the Brennans  Tracey Lange

We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange

In the vein of Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes and Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s The Nest, Tracey Lange’s We Are the Brennans explores the staying power of shame–and the redemptive power of love–in an Irish Catholic family torn apart by secrets.

Immediate Family : A Novel Ashley Nelson Levy

Immediate Family by Ashley Nelson Levy

In Immediate Family, a tender and fierce debut novel, Ashley Nelson Levy explores the enduring bond between two siblings and the complexities of motherhood, infertility, race, and the many definitions of family.

Agatha of Little Neon : A Novel Claire Luchette

Agatha of Little Neon by Claire Luchette

Disarming, delightfully deadpan, and full of searching, Claire Luchette’s Agatha of Little Neon offers a view into the lives of women and the choices they make. It is a novel about female friendship and devotion, the roles made available to us, and how we become ourselves.

Tin Camp Road : A Novel Ellen Airgood

Tin Camp Road by Ellen Airgood

Set against the wide open beauty of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a wise, big hearted novel in which a young single mother and her ten-year-old daughter stand up to the trials of rural poverty and find the community they need in order to survive.

Edge Case : A Novel YZ Chin

Edge Case by YZ Chin

When her husband suddenly disappears, a young woman must uncover where he went–and who she might be without him–in this striking debut of immigration, identity, and marriage.

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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