This readalike is in response to a patron's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids. You can browse the book matches here.
Summer Sisters by Judy Blume: "The story concerns rather implausibly a friendship begun when Caitlin and Vix (for Victoria) are 12. Caitlin, daughter of wealthy, divorced parents, declares that Vix, eldest daughter in a blue-collar family, will be her best friend. Caitlin invites Vix to spend the summer at the family home on Martha's Vineyard. Vix is taken in by Caitlin's family, who arrange for her scholarship to private school and then support her Harvard education. Summers on the Vineyard are filled with sun and adolescent sexual encounters. The girls' friendship endures betrayal, love for the same man, and diverging career paths." (Library Journal)
If you enjoyed Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, these stories about women and friendship may appeal to you:
Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
“For Katherine Givens and the four women about to become her best friends, the adventure begins with a UPS package. Inside is a pair of red sneakers filled with ashes and a note that will forever change their lives. Katherine's oldest and dearest friend, the irrepressible Annie Freeman, left one final request - a traveling funeral - and she wants the most important women in her life as ‘pallbearers’."—summary from book jacket
Anybody Out There by Marian Keyes.
Anna Walsh returns to her Dublin family after a serious and disfiguring accident. She wants to return to her life in New York City, but she has more than physical healing to do.
The Au Pairs by Melissa de la Cruz
Three teenage girls from different backgrounds work for a summer in the Hamptons as au pairs for a wealthy family, and in spite of many ups and downs, all three end up changing for the better.
Dance With Me by Luanne Rice
Jane returns to Rhode Island to help her sister care for their ailing mother. A grief-sticken neighbor returns to run the family apple orchard. These lives will entwine in expected and unexpected ways.
Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
“When Vivi and Siddalee Walker, an unforgettable mother-daughter team, get into a savage fight over a New York Times article that refers to Vivi as a "tap-dancing child abuser," the fallout is felt from Louisiana to New York to Seattle. Siddalee, a successful theater director with a huge hit on her hands, panics and postpones her upcoming wedding to her lover and friend, Connor McGill. Vivi's intrepid gang of lifelong girlfriends, the Ya-Yas, sashay in and conspire to bring everyone back together." —summary from book jacket
Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris
Three French siblings make friends with a German soldier during the Nazi occupation of their town. The consequences of this innocent friendship will reverberate long after the war ends.
Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman
Kaaterskill Falls is a small town in upstate New York, summer home to Orthodox Jews who come from their tightly knit community in New York City carrying family memories and long friendships. They also carry a stifling adherence to the Jewish religion and obedience to Rav Elijah Kirshner, who is near the end of his life and struggling to reconcile his feelings for his two sons. The women of the community are bound by traditions that dictate their dress, manners, and preoccupations. Elizabeth Shulman, driven by ambitions beyond raising five daughters, opens a store with the Rav's approval and later runs afoul of the son who succeeds him when she violates a tradition.
The Lake of Dead Languages by Ellen Goodman
"It is set in a private girls' school in upstate New York. Jane Hudson has come there to teach Latin, many years after having attended the school herself. But back in her school days, she was mixed up with a group of students who worshiped their Latin teacher, and their heightened sensitivities to the sensual world combined with the emotional tumult of their pubescence resulted in a series of multiple suicides. Now divorced from her husband and raising a little girl, Jane plans to settle in at this place with which she is so familiar, despite the darkness of its history. But her past literally comes back to haunt her, mysteries and secrets swirling around her as if she were caught in a maelstrom." (Booklist)
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
Smithy Ides is a forty-something loser - overweight, dead-end job, no hobbies and hardly any friends. A series of tragedies leads Smithy on a literally life-changing journey.
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Prodigal Summer weaves together three stories of human love within a larger tapestry of lives inhabiting the forested mountains and struggling small farms of southern Appalachia. At the heart of these intertwined narratives is a den of coyotes that have recently migrated into the region. Deanna Wolfe, a reclusive wildlife biologist, watches the forest from her outpost in an isolated mountain cabin where she is caught off-guard by Eddie Bondo, a young hunter who comes to invade her most private spaces and confound her self-assured, solitary life. On a farm several miles down the mountain, another web of lives unfolds as Lusa Maluf Landowski, a bookish city girl turned farmer's wife, finds herself unexpectedly marooned in a strange place where she must declare or lose her attachment to the land. And a few more miles down the road, a pair of elderly, feuding neighbors tend their respective farms and wrangle about God, pesticides, and the complexities of a world neither of them expected.
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka
Two sisters put aside their very British reserve when their elderly father announces he is marrying big-breasted woman in her 30's.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
A story about a special summer in the lives of four lifelong friends who are separated for the first time. The young women find a pair of jeans that fits each of them perfectly and they decide to use the pants as a way of keeping in touch.
Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
When her best friend, Hope, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, 16-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. Jessica is a fish out of water at school, a stranger at home, and now -- with the only person with whom she could really communicate gone -- more lost than ever. How is she supposed to deal with the boy-and-shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad's obsession with her track meets, and her nonexistent love life?
A Tale of Two Sisters by Anna Maxted
Cassie and Lizbet have always been very close sisters, but so very different that they have never been competitive. Now that they're adults, things are beginning to change.
Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg
Two best friends become even closer when one of them is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Three Women by Marge Piercy
Suzanne Blume is not suffering from the empty-nest syndrome. Her life has never been more rewarding. The divorced mother of two grown daughters, she teaches law, has a thriving private practice, &, best of all, has been flirting online with a man she has never met. But her neat, buttoned-up life starts to unravel when her daughter Elena returns home, angry & unemployed, & her safe online boyfriend materializes on her doorstep. Then, the biggest challenge of all: Her independent mother, Beverly--still vital, still working, still involved with men & politics with equal passion--suffers a stroke & can no longer care for herself. This is the story of three women: Beverly, whose strong will is suddenly frustrated by a broken body; Elena, whose life was split in two at fifteen by a scandalous tragedy; & Suzanne, who must make peace with her mother, her daughters, & herself.
Some other authors with writing styles, characters or plots you might enjoy:
Barbara Taylor Bradford