dysfunctional families -- fiction
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“They say it's good to let your grudges go, but I don't know, I'm quite fond of my grudge. I tend it like a little pet.”
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Follows three mothers, each at a crossroads, and their potential involvement in a riot at a school trivia night that leaves one parent dead in what appears to be a tragic accident, but which evidence shows might have been premeditated. (catalog summary)
Big Little Lies is an upcoming American drama miniseries series created by David E. Kelley, based on the book of the same name by Liane Moriarty. The series will air on HBO. The series will consist of seven episodes, all directed by Jean-Marc Vallée. The series stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley. The series will premiere on February 19, 2017.¹ See a trailer below book suggestions.
If you like books like Big Little Lies, check out these other adult fiction titles:
Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Mary Rose MacKinnon is a successful author of young adult fiction doing a tour of duty as stay-at-home mom while her partner, Hilary, takes a turn focusing on her career. She tries valiantly to balance the (mostly) solo parenting of two young children with the relentless needs of her aging parents. But amid the hilarities of full-on domesticity arises a sense of dread. Do others notice the dents in the expensive refrigerator? How long will it take Mary Rose to realize that the car alarm that has been going off all morning is hers, and how on earth did her sharpest pair of scissors wind up in her toddler's hands? As frustrations mount, she experiences a flare-up of forgotten symptoms of a childhood illness that compel her to rethink her own upbringing and family history. Over the course of one outwardly ordinary week, Mary Rose's world threatens to unravel, and the specter of violence raises its head with dangerous implications for her and her children. With humor and unerring emotional accuracy, Adult Onset explores the pleasures and pressures of family bonds, powerful and yet so easily twisted and broken. Ann-Marie MacDonald has crafted a searing, terrifying, yet ultimately uplifting story. (catalog summary)
All Things Cease to Appear by Elizabeth Brundage
Arriving home to find his wife murdered and their toddler left alone, art history professor George Clare is targeted with suspicion by a relentless police officer, as dark community secrets are revealed over a span of decades. (catalog summary)
This readalike is in response to a customer'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 other book matches here.
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora's new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others. (catalog summary)
If you like Lock and Key then you might like:
Because I am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas
The youngest of three siblings, fourteen-year-old Anke feels both relieved and neglected that her father abuses her brother and sister but ignores her, but when she catches him with one of her friends, she finally becomes angry enough to take action. (catalog summary)
The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George
When her mother abandons her on Whidbey Island, Washington, a fourteen-year-old girl with psychic abilities meets a Ugandan orphan with a secret. (catalog summary)
This readalike is in response to a customer'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 other book matches here
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
They were a perfect family, golden and carefree—until a heartbreaking tragedy shattered their happiness. Now, for the sake of an inheritance that will ensure their future, the children must be hidden away out of sight, as if they never existed. Kept on the top floor of their grandmother's vast mansion, their loving mother assures them it will be just for a little while. But as brutal days swell into agonizing months and years, Cathy, Chris, and twins Cory and Carrie realize their survival is at the mercy of their cruel and superstitious grandmother...and this cramped and helpless world may be the only one they ever know. (catalog summary)
If you like the novels of V.C. Andrews, check out these other suspenseful titles as well:
The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
As the daughter of a Colorado County coroner, seventeen-year-old Cameryn Mahoney is no stranger to death. In fact, she's always been fascinated by the science of it. So she's thrilled to finally get some hands-on experience in forensics working as her father's assistant. But Cammie is in for more than she bargained for when the second case that she attends turns out to be someone she knows—the latest victim of a serial killer known as the Christopher Killer. And if dealing with that isn't hard enough, Cammie soon realizes that if she's not careful, she might wind up as the killer's next victim. (catalog summary)
Dark Secrets by Elizabeth Chandler
Secrets taken to the grave don't always stay buried. In the first novella, "No Time to Die," Jenny is devastated by the recent death of her sister, Liza. Looking for a sense of closure, she secretly signs up for the drama camp where Liza died. Jenny knows that someone here holds the key to what really happened to Liza that night, but if she doesn't find out the truth soon, she may become the next victim. In "The Deep End of Fear," Kate has tried to bury the horrible memories associated with the Westbrook estate. After her best friend Ashley drowned on the estate, Kate vowed never to return. But now, twelve years later, she is drawn back towards the house and that fatal icy pond. There, Kate still feels Ashley's presence and the past seems to be pulling her back towards Ashley's life-threatening dares. (catalog summary)
Small Southern towns have their share of eccentric characters, but they have nothing on Quinn, Montana. Quinn produces “devils and angels, queens and boy princesses, gritty souls that could survive anything.” The Flood Girls are a team of misfit softball players with their manager, Laverna Flood, the owner of the local bar, leading the pack. Living in Quinn and playing ball with The Flood Girls is never boring; it is a comedy of errors.
“I have a meanness inside of me, real as an organ.” - Libby Day
The plot and characters in The Family Fang, by Kevin Wilson, are full of surprises. Grown-up siblings Annie and Buster Fang end up back home with their parents when both their lives implode in creative ways. Buster, while writing for a macho magazine, was shot with a potato gun, doing serious injury to his face. Actress Annie shed some extra clothes on a movie set and got blacklisted. Adrift and in need, they naturally return home.
But coming home for them is no staid Norman Rockwell gathering. Annie and Buster Fang grew up being conduits for their parents’ eccentric artistic visions. Chapters describe parents Caleb and Camille Fang’s disturbing performance art events with their children, stage-named Child A and Child B. The elder Fangs tightly tangled their family and their art, and, not surprisingly, the children are “messed up.” Funny, thoughtful and disturbing, this novel tests the boundaries of how most of us define art and family.