November 20, 2023

Novels with Twists on Family Dynamics

Do you delight in — or maybe dread? — all the focus on family holiday gatherings? Hear about five novels that offer various takes on families and family dynamics. Laurie Dreyer, Lansingburgh Branch Manager for Troy Public Library, recommends these four. “The Nest” (Sweeney, 2016) explores the divisions brought by squabbles over an inheritance. “The Cherry Robbers” (Walker, 2022) is a gothic feminist novel set in 1950’s Connecticut. “This Is How It Always Is” (Frankel, 2017) tells of how a family accepts, but keeps secret, a five-year-old boy’s desire to be a princess, but struggles years later when the secret explodes. “The House in the Cerulean Sea” (Klune, 2020) is a fantasy about a case worker in the department in charge of magical youth who creates an unexpected family with a group of children on an island. Laurie says this is the book to read for “all the warm fuzzies.” Finally, “Hello Beautiful” (Napolitano, 2023) follows the tearjerker story of a college boy accepted by his girl friend’s three younger sisters, with a later family rift that threatens to tear the family apart. For more details on books and activities, visit To find other libraries in New York State, see Produced by Brea Barthel for Hudson Mohawk Magazine.

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