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Most Anticipated Winter 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 Winter 2021 novels about family and friendship!

The Center of Everything by Jamie Harrison

For Polly, the small town of Livingston, Montana, is a land charmed by raw, natural beauty and a close network of family that extends back generations. But the summer of 2002 finds Polly at a crossroads: a recent head injury has scattered her perception of the present, bringing to the surface long-forgotten events. As Polly’s many relatives arrive for a family reunion during the Fourth of July holiday, a beloved friend goes missing on the Yellowstone River. Search parties comb the river as carefully as Polly combs her mind, and over the course of one fateful week, Polly arrives at a deeper understanding of herself and her larger-than-life relatives.

The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks

Thirteen-year-old Michael Parsons is dealing with a lot. His father’s sudden death; his mother’s new husband, Glen, who he loathes; his two younger siblings, who he looks after more and more now that his mother works extra shifts.

And then one day, Michael wakes up and his mother is gone. In her place is an exact, duplicate mother. The ‘other mother’. No one else seems to notice the real version is missing. His brother, his sister, and even Glen act as if everything’s normal. But Michael knows in his heart that this mother is not his. And he begins to panic.

What Could Be Saved by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness.

The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson

A charming novel of second chances, about three women, one dog, and the narrowboat that brings them together.

My Brilliant Life by Ae-ran Kim, translated by Chi-Young Kim

Ae-ran Kim’s My Brilliant Life explores family bonds and out-of-the-ordinary friendships, interweaving the past and present of a tight-knit family, finding joy and happiness in even the most difficult times.

Consent by Annabel Lyon

A sly, sensual, haunting novel about two women whose lives collide when tragedy changes them forever. A novel that explores the complexities of familial duty, and of how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment, and regret.

Faye, Faraway by Helen Fisher

A heartfelt, spellbinding, and irresistible debut novel that movingly examines loss, faith, and love as it follows a grown woman who travels back in time to be reunited with the mother she lost when she was a child.

Girl A by Abigail Dean

‘Girl A, ‘ she said. ‘The girl who escaped. If anyone was going to make it, it was going to be you.’

What begins as a propulsive tale of escape and survival becomes a gripping psychological family story about the shifting alliances and betrayals of sibling relationships–about the secrets our siblings keep, from themselves and each other.

Landslide by Susan Conley

A stunning novel about a mother caring for her two teenage sons while the crumbling fishing industry her New England community relies on threatens to collapse around them.  A beautiful portrait of a family, as compelling as it is moving, and raises the question of how to remain devoted when the eye of the storm closes in.

Good Neighbors by Sarah Langan

A sudden tragedy exposes the depths of deception and damage in a Long Island suburb–pitting neighbor against neighbor and putting one family in terrible danger.

Super Host by Kate Russo

Warm, witty, and utterly humane, Super Host offers a captivating portrait of middle age, relationships, and what it truly means to take a new chance at life.

Ladies of the House by Lauren Edmondson

No surprise is a good surprise. At least according to thirty-four-year-old Daisy Richardson. So when it’s revealed in dramatic fashion that her esteemed father had been involved in a public scandal before his untimely death, Daisy’s life becomes complicated–and fast.

Ladies of the House puts a modern spin on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson

The Kindest Lie examines the heartbreaking divide between Black and white communities and plumbs the emotional depths of the struggles faced by ordinary Americans in the wake of the financial crisis, perfectly capturing the profound racial injustices and class inequalities roiling society.

The Mission House by Carys Davies

A captivating and propulsive novel following an Englishman seeking refuge in a remote hill town in India who finds himself caught in the crossfire of local tensions and violence.

The Upstairs House by Julia Fine

A provocative meditation on new motherhood in which a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Hidden in the depths of eighteenth-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious twelve-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.

The Restoration of Celia Fairchild by Marie Bostwick

A wise and witty novel about a fired advice columnist who discovers lost and found family members in Charleston.

Good Eggs by Rebecca Hardiman

A hilarious and heartfelt debut novel following three generations of a boisterous Irish family whose simmering tensions boil over when an American home aide enters the picture, becoming the calamitous force that will either undo or remake this family.

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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