This last quarter of the year usually arouses mixed feelings within me. I become excited about going to the malls to buy Christmas décor and some gifts, and I love the feeling of walking the streets with the tune of the Holidays in the background. On the other hand, I also get nervous and depressed because this is the time of year that families come together. We, like most families, are not perfect. We have our internal battles and the arguments that we choose to voice out during the past dinners. Are things going to work out now? Are the hurts going to mend this time?
I am the type of person who is eager to learn new things just to have a happy family. I want to learn about other families – how they live, what they do when they disagree, why they have succeeded in being together. This is why I have read quite a number of books about family relationships. And this article is all about my five favorite family books – those that have hit a nerve and affected the way I think about my family. Read on and find out what my favorites are.
5 Books About Family That I Recommend
- Reunion by Hannah Pittard. This one you might want to read when you’re stuck at the airport waiting for your flight. You won’t notice how time has flown by.
The story of Kate and how she deals with the pain of knowing about her father’s death while she was sitting on a plane is heart-wrenching. While she and her dad are estranged, Pittard doesn’t take away the love for family when she writes about Kate reuniting with her siblings and half-siblings and how the detachment has changed (and has not changed) her life.
“Having the loss of a parent disrupts our foundation—our sense of security and safety, having secure attachment, having this parent provide everything that parents provide for us. That all gets blown to pieces when we lose a parent,” says Dan Wolfson, Psy.D.
- Geek Love by Katherine Dunn. I had trouble sleeping when I started reading this book because I didn’t want to stop!
The Binewskis are an odd family – odd because they all work in the circus, and odder because of the children’s physical oddities. They were born with abnormalities due to genetic mutations and incompatibilities. You will feel pity and love for this family as they tell their circus tales in the different places they travel. Be inspired by the little things that make them happy – like talking and sleeping under the stars, beside elephant dung!
- Infinite Home by Kathleen Alcott.
Some people live away from home to study or work, and the people they live with become their family. Alcott’s presentation of characters in her novel has allowed me to learn different types of individuals. The drama over the landlady’s death and how the lives of her residents have affected them is a tearjerker.
- The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. Rose reminisces the love of her mother every time she takes a bite of her lemon cake. This book depicts how a nine-year-old girl copes with loss and grief when she loses her mother at an early age. Bender uses the lemon cake to represent a memory of a loved one and how someone so young has used this memory to learn beautiful insights on life. “The long-term consequences of losing a parent at a young age can persist well into adulthood—which is why it is essential that bereaved children and their surviving parents get the help they need to deal with this loss,” writes Romeo Vitelli, Ph.D.
- Among The Ten Thousand Things by Julia Pierpont. A story about two children who discovered the affair of their father with a younger woman. Here you will read how a simple family with simple dreams of being happy has grown further apart because of their father’s mistake. A different take on family and survival. “If you feel betrayed, healing and growth begins with the realization that you are not damaged, but your relationship is. You must heal first and, if you so choose, attempt repair later,” writes Steven Stosny, Ph.D.
Whenever I am stressed or worried about family or just about anything, I try to remember the things I learn from the books I read. Truly, it is amazing how they can turn my mood around, especially when I think about how lucky I am to have a family of my own who loves me and whom I love. Perhaps you might want to try this habit of mine. I hope it’ll help you too.