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16 Novels Set at Family Gatherings

5 Books | by Likewise User verified icon

.Holidays, weddings, funerals—whatever the cause of the get together, reunions are ripe with dramatic potential.

The House of Broken Angels

The House of Broken Angels

Books

In this "raucous, moving, and necessary" story by a Pulitzer Prize finalist (San Francisco Chronicle), the De La Cruzes, a family on the Mexican-American border, celebrate two of their most beloved relatives during a joyous and bittersweet weekend. "All we do, mija, is love. Love is the answer. Nothing stops it. Not borders. Not death." In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother, nearly one hundred, dies, transforming the weekend into a farewell doubleheader. Among the guests is Big Angel's half brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not, as a half gringo, shared a life. Across two bittersweet days in their San Diego neighborhood, the revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of Big Angel and his mother, and recounting the many inspiring tales that have passed into family lore, the acts both ordinary and heroic that brought these citizens to a fraught and sublime country and allowed them to flourish in the land they have come to call home. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank. "Epic . . . Rambunctious . . . Highly entertaining." -- New York Times Book Review"Intimate and touching . . . the stuff of legend." -- San Francisco Chronicle"An immensely charming and moving tale." -- Boston GlobeNational Bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalistA New York Times Notable BookOne of the Best Books of the Year from National Public Radio, American Library Association, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Newsday, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Literary Hub

The Turner House

The Turner House

Books

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTA powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family. The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone—and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts—and shapes—their family’s future. Praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

Seven Days of Us

Seven Days of Us

Books

A family can't escape their secrets when they're forced to spend a week in quarantine in this "sharply funny" (People) novel--an Indie Next and #1 Library Reads Pick! It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. She's just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family. For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of first-world problems. As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down. In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive....

A Place for Us

A Place for Us

Books

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NATIONAL BOOK AWARD “5 UNDER 35” NOMINEE • NEW YORK’S “ONE BOOK, ONE NEW YORK” PICK Named One of the Best Books of the Year: Washington Post • NPR • People • Refinery29 • Parade • BuzzFeed “Mirza writes with a mercy that encompasses all things.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post Hailed as “a book for our times” (Christiane Amanpour), A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging.As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best? A Place for Us takes us back to the beginning of this family’s life: from the bonds that bring them together, to the differences that pull them apart. All the joy and struggle of family life is here, from Rafiq and Layla’s own arrival in America from India, to the years in which their children—each in their own way—tread between two cultures, seeking to find their place in the world, as well as a path home. A Place for Us is a book for our times: an astonishingly tender-hearted novel of identity and belonging, and a resonant portrait of what it means to be an American family today. It announces Fatima Farheen Mirza as a major new literary talent.

This Is Where I Leave You

This Is Where I Leave You

Books

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Jason Bateman, Tina Fey Jane Fonda, and Adam Driver "Often sidesplitting, mostly heartbreaking...[Tropper is] a more sincere, insightful version of Nick Hornby, that other master of male psyche." --USA Today The death of Judd Foxman's father marks the first time that the entire Foxman clan has congregated in years. There is, however, one conspicuous absence: Judd's wife, Jen, whose affair with his radio- shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public. Simultaneously mourning the demise of his father and his marriage, Judd joins his dysfunctional family as they reluctantly sit shiva-and spend seven days and nights under the same roof. The week quickly spins out of control as longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed and old passions are reawakened. Then Jen delivers the clincher: she's pregnant. This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper's (One Last Thing Before I Go) most accomplished work to date, and a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind-whether we like it or not.

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