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Summer 2020 Novels about Family and Friendship

If you’re a reader who loves stories that revolve around the dynamics of family and friendships, 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 make space on your bookshelves, make those library requests, reserve these titles and check out TWENTY-ONE of our most anticipated Summer 2020  reads that dive into the highs, lows, and complications that come with the relationships between friends and family!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

From The New York Times-bestselling author of The Mothers, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth–in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

The Second Home by Christina Clancy

This assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.

I Was Told It Would Get Easier by Abbi Waxman

Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

The Margot Affair by Sanaë Lemoine

The Margot Affair is a novel of deceit, desire, and transgression–and the exhilarating knife-edge upon which the danger of telling the truth outweighs the cost of keeping secrets.

Love by Roddy Doyle

Two old friends reconnect in Dublin for a dramatic, revealing evening of drinking and storytelling in this winning new novel from the author of the Booker Prize winning Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha.

Eliza Starts a Rumor by Jane L. Rosen

The author of Nine Women, One Dress delivers a charming, unforgettable novel about four women, one little lie, and the big repercussions that unite them all.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiance of her family’s dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.

Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan

An insightful, hilarious, and compulsively readable novel about a complicated friendship between two women who are at two very different stages in life, from the best-selling author of Maine and Saints for All Occasions.

Want by Lynn Steger Strong

Grappling with motherhood, economic anxiety, rage, and the limits of language, Want is a fiercely personal novel that vibrates with anger, insight, and love.

The Party Upstairs by Lee Conell

An electrifying debut novel that unfolds in the course of a single day inside one genteel New York City apartment building, as tensions between the building’s super and his grown-up daughter spark a crisis that will, by day’s end, change everything.

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

Over the course of one summer that begins with a shocking tragedy, three generations of the Adler family grapple with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets.

One Year of Ugly by Caroline Mackenzie

A fun, fresh, timely debut novel about the uproarious adventures that befall the Palacio family during their disastrous illegal residence in Trinidad that poignantly captures the complexities of dysfunctional families and passionate (but sometimes messy) romance.

Well-Behaved Indian Women by Saumya Dave

From a compelling new voice in women’s fiction comes a mother-daughter story about three generations of women who struggle to define themselves as they pursue their dreams.

Musical Chairs by Amy Poeppel

The author of Limelight and Small Admissions returns with a hilarious and heartfelt new novel about a perfectly imperfect summer of love, secrets, and second chances.

Must I Go by Yiyun Li

Must I Go is a novel about life in all its messy glory, and of a life lived, by the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. With great candor and insight, Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart.

The Aunt Who Wouldn't Die by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay

A laugh-out-loud, tug-at-your-heartstrings tale of love, family, and freedom centered around three generations of Bengali women.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations–a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

Bear Necessity by James Gould-Bourn

A heartwarming, poignant, and charming debut novel for fans of Nick Hornby and The Rosie Project, about a father and son overcoming their grief in surprisingly inventive ways.

Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell

From the critically acclaimed author of The Young Wives Club, comes a charming novel reminiscent of the works of Mary Alice Monroe and Kristy Woodson Harvey, about three sisters who win a huge lottery prize and learn what it truly means to be lucky.

Ordinary Hazards by Anna Bruno

A debut novel that explores contemporary love, guilt, and the place we call home, and in the tradition of Ask Again, Yes and Little Fires Everywhere, Ordinary Hazards follows one woman’s epic journey back to a life worth living.