Domestic Fiction

  • Domestic Fiction

The term “Domestic Fiction” is used for fictional works that focus on home and family life.*

*WorldCat Genres

The Summer That Made Us

Robyn Carr

Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins, they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again. That was then… For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything. This is now… After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth. Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

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Shem Creek

Dorothea Benton Frank

The New York Times Bestseller! “The strong pull of friendship, the leisurely pace of a tiny, waterfront Southern town, and the steady buildup of romance help buoy Frank’s well-drawn, memorable characters in the face of life’s challenges.”—Publishers Weekly Meet Linda Breland, single parent of two teenage daughters—one of whom is headed off to college. Between that and the married men, the cold New Jersey winters, her pinched wallet, and her ex-husband who married a beautiful, successful woman ten years younger than she is—let’s just say Linda has seen enough to fill a thousand pages. Now she’s bound for Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, the magical landscape of her ancestors. Welcomed by the help of her advice-dispensing sister and an intriguing ex–investment banker turned restaurant owner, Linda slowly begins to find her way and realize that she, too, is entitled to a second chance...

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The Hope Chest

Viola Shipman

"Saugatuck, MI, springs to life in this nostalgic, gentle story of lifelong love along with the emotional support and care that families and friends can provide. " —Library Journal The discovery of one woman’s heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again. Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn’t feel like herself. She can’t navigate her beloved home, she can’t go for a boat ride, and she can barely even feed herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn’t want to imagine life without his wife of nearly fifty years, but Mattie isn’t likely to make it past their anniversary. But when Rose, Mattie’s new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple’s life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother. With each item—including a favorite doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges. A beautiful story about the unconditional love and support of family, The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman will remind you that hope can be found where and when you least expect it.

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Full of Grace

Dorothea Benton Frank

For Big Al and Connie, their move from New Jersey to Hilton Head, South Carolina, has been fraught with complications, especially for their daughter Grace, a thirty-two-year-old single, Catholic woman struggling for independence.

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The Heirs

Susan Rieger

The Heirs,the follow-up to Susan Rieger's critically acclaimed debut, wrestles with the nature of inheritance and legacy as it affects an unforgettable, upper-crust Manhattan clan. With great command, wit and charm, we are introduced to the inimitable Falkeses- five clever, charismatic brothers; their partners; and their parents, Rupert and Eleanor. The brothers find themselves floundering after Rupert dies of cancer, suddenly shaken without their beloved father's immense influence on their lives. When, in the wake of Rupert's death, a long-held secret comes to light, the brothers are forced to reexamine their place in the wider world and in the smaller one they've always called home. An elegant, incisive, and witty commentary on elite Manhattan society and the dynamics of family, The Heirswill entertain from the first to last page.

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Digging to America

Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler’s richest, most deeply searching novel–a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.” Two families, who would otherwise never have come together, meet by chance at the Baltimore airport – the Donaldsons, a very American couple, and the Yazdans, Maryam’s fully assimilated son and his attractive Iranian wife. Each couple is awaiting the arrival of an adopted infant daughter from Korea. After the instant babies from distant Asia are delivered, Bitsy Donaldson impulsively invites the Yazdans to celebrate: an “arrival party” that from then on is repeated every year as the two families become more and more deeply intertwined. Even Maryam is drawn in – up to a point. When she finds herself being courted by Bitsy Donaldson’s recently widowed father, all the values she cherishes – her traditions, her privacy, her otherness–are suddenly threatened. A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.

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The Summer Cottage

Susan Kietzman

“Beautifully written and closely observed, The Summer Cottage captures the deep and complicated love of family. Reading this lovely novel, I felt the embrace of summer on the shoreline.” --Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author Spanning two summers decades apart, Susan Kietzman’s poignant novel explores the complexities of the people—and places—that shape our lives… Helen Street spent every summer of her childhood at her family’s cedar-shake cottage on Long Island Sound. The youngest of four, she shared her mother Claire’s athletic genes and relished the orchestrated games and competitions that filled those warm, endless days. Unlike her older siblings—fiery Charlotte, ambitious Thomas, middle-child Pammy—Helen rarely felt the pressure of her mother’s high expectations. Thirty years later, with her brother and sisters scattered, Helen is the sole caregiver for Claire, now terminally ill. Knowing her death is imminent, Claire has put Helen in the awkward position of telling the others that she plans on leaving everything, including the cottage, to Helen when she dies—unless everyone comes to the shore for a long weekend over the Fourth of July. During this time together, Helen, Charlotte, Pammy, and Thomas will revisit their long-ago decisions and assumptions. And they will face new choices that could shatter their fragile kinship—or reveal a family’s extraordinary power to remember, to forgive, and to grow… “This is solid beach-read material that will be particularly appealing to those who like stories of family secrets.” --Booklist

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The History of Us

Leah Stewart

From the critically acclaimed author of The Myth of You and Me, The History of Us is a heartrending story of love, loss, family, and the life you make in the path not taken. Sometimes home is the hardest place to go Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach her first class at Harvard when she receives the devastating news that her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident. Eloise leaves her life in Cambridge and moves back into her family’s century-old house in Cincinnati, pouring her own money into the house’s upkeep and her heart into raising her sister’s three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire. Nearly twenty years later, the now-grown children seem ready to leave home, and Eloise plans to sell the house and finally start a life that’s hers alone. But when Eloise’s mother decides that they should all compete for the chance to keep the house and Claire reveals a life-changing secret, the makeshift family begins to fall apart and ultimately must decide what in life is worth fighting for.

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Small Mercies

Eddie Joyce

"Ten years after the loss of Bobby-- the Amendola family's youngest son-- everyone is still struggling to recover from the firefighter's unexpected death. Bobby's mother Gail; his widow Tina; his older brothers Peter, the corporate lawyer, and Franky, the misfit; and his father Michael have all dealt with their grief in different ways. But as the family gathers together for Bobby Jr.'s birthday party, they must each find a way to accept a new man in Tina's life while reconciling their feelings for their lost loved one"--

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The People We Hate at the Wedding

Grant Ginder

"It’s for the same audience that flocked to The Nest, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? or dare I say a little book you might be a fan of, Crazy Rich Asians." — Kevin Kwan, New York Times bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians "Sinfully good." — Elin Hilderbrand Entertainment Weekly's Summer Must-Read A Publishers Weekly BEST SUMMER BOOKS, 2017 New York Post Best Books of Summer Redbook's 10 Books You Have To Read This Summer "The summer’s most compelling fictional exploration of affluence and envy. Like all the best beach reads, it eats the rich like so many frozen grapes." — Bloomberg Businessweek Relationships are awful. They'll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life. Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins. They couldn’t hate it more. The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent. As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise's walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

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Safe Within

Jean Reynolds Page

One of today’s most compelling voices in women’s fiction, acclaimed novelist Jean Reynolds Page delivers a story of unanticipated familial ties, exploring with compassion and humor the hope, forgiveness, and sometimes just plain tolerance necessary to hold a family together. Safe Within is rich with heart and Southern atmosphere, as a loving wife, facing an almost unbearable impending tragedy, returns with her husband and son to Lowfield, North Carolina—and to a cabin high up in the trees—where she must contend with, and somehow make peace with, an infuriatingly eccentric mother-in-law. Readers touched by this author’s earlier work—including the much beloved The Space between Before and After—can rejoice, and fans of Jodi Picoult and Jacquelyn Mitchard will be adding another name to their list of favorites authors.

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Real Life & Liars with Bonus Excerpt

Kristina Riggle

For a limited time at a special price, enjoy Kristina Riggle's heartwarming novel Real Life & Liars along with an excerpt from her upcoming new novel, Keepsake, on sale June 26, 2012. Sometimes you find happiness where, and when, you least expect it. For Mirabelle Zielinski's children, happiness always seems to be just out of reach. Her polished oldest daughter, Katya, clings to a stale marriage with a workaholic husband and three spoiled children. Her son, Ivan, so creative, is a down-in-the-dumps songwriter with the worst taste in women. And the "baby," impulsive Irina, who lives life on a whim, is now reluctantly pregnant and hitched to a man who is twice her age. On the weekend of their parents' anniversary party, lies will be revealed, hearts will be broken...but love will also be found. And the biggest shock may come from Mirabelle herself, because she has a secret that will change everything.

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A Place For Us

Harriet Evans

Major international bestseller and critically acclaimed author Harriet Evans weaves an “absorbing tapestry…with a comic touch even in the midst of tragedy” (Kirkus Reviews) in this stunning family drama that will surprise you at every turn. When Martha, a wife and mother of three, sits down one late summer’s morning to write out the invitations to her eightieth birthday celebration, she knows that what she is planning to reveal at the party could ruin the idyllic life she and her husband, David, have spent more than fifty years building. But her family must know what she and David have sacrificed. She cannot live a lie anymore. The invitation goes out far and wide, calling her children and grandchildren back home to Winterfold, their rambling house in the heart of the English countryside. Bill, a doctor, was once a sweet, serious boy, eager to help his mother, but he’s not the man Martha thought he’d become. Florence—passionate, intellectual, one might say a little eccentric—is now an art history professor in Italy. And Daisy, the dark heart of the family, left years ago to be a charity worker abroad and never really came home. The reunion becomes a catalyst for a cascade of shocking secrets and unexpected events as the Winters grapple with the joy and the pain of the past.

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A Spool of Blue Thread

Anne Tyler

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER | SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE | NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND USA TODAY | NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Chicago Tribune • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Telegraph • BookPage Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. “It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon. . . . ” This is how Abby Whitshank always describes the day she fell in love with Red in July 1959. The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor. Praise for A Spool of Blue Thread “An act of literary enchantment . . . [Anne] Tyler remains among the best chroniclers of family life this country has ever produced.”—The Washington Post “Quintessential Anne Tyler, as well as quintessential American comedy . . . [She] has a knack for turning sitcom situations into something far deeper and more moving.”—The New York Times Book Review “By my count I’ve now reviewed around fifty books for USA Today. I’ve never given any of them four stars until today: to A Spool of Blue Thread, the masterful twentieth novel by Anne Tyler.”—USA Today “By the end of this deeply beguiling novel, we come to know a reality entirely different from the one at the start.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Well-crafted, utterly absorbing and compelling . . . probably the best novel you will read all year.”—Chicago Tribune “A miracle of sorts . . . tender, touching and funny . . . [an] understated masterpiece.”—Associated Press “Exploring [the] dichotomy—the imperfections that reside within a polished exterior—is Tyler’s specialty, and her latest generation-spanning work accomplishes just that, masterfully and monumentally.”—Elle “The story of any family is told through the prism of time. And no storyteller compares to Tyler when it comes to unspooling those tales.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Vintage Anne Tyler . . . [The Whitshanks are] rendered with such immediacy and texture that they might be our next-door neighbors.”—Los Angeles Times “The magic of Tyler’s novels [is that] you imagine these characters carrying on, muddling through, enduring the necessary sorrows and quiet joys of their lives somewhere beyond the page.”—The Seattle Times “The sort of novel that’s hard to disentangle yourself from. Warm, charming and emotionally radiant, it surely must be counted as among Tyler’s best.”—The Miami Herald “Prose so polished it practically glows on the page.”—Houston Chronicle From the Trade Paperback edition.

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The Past

Tessa Hadley

Winner of the Windham Campbell Prize • A Washington Post Best Book of the Year • A Time Best Book of the Year • A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Book of the Year • A Huffington Post Best Fiction Book of the Year • A New York Times Editors’ Choice In her most accessible, commercial novel yet, the “supremely perceptive writer of formidable skill and intelligence (New York Times Book Review) turns her astute eye to a dramatic family reunion, where simmering tensions and secrets come to a head over three long, hot summer weeks. With five novels and two collections of stories, Tessa Hadley has earned a reputation as a fiction writer of remarkable gifts. She brings all of her considerable skill and an irresistible setup to The Past, a novel in which three sisters, a brother, and their children assemble at their country house. These three weeks may be their last time there; the upkeep is prohibitive, and they may be forced to sell this beloved house filled with memories of their shared past (their mother took them there to live when she left their father). Yet beneath the idyllic pastoral surface, hidden passions, devastating secrets, and dangerous hostilities threaten to consume them. Sophisticated and sleek, Roland’s new wife (his third) arouses his sisters’ jealousies and insecurities. Kasim, the twenty-year-old son of Alice’s ex-boyfriend, becomes enchanted with Molly, Roland’s sixteen-year-old daughter. Fran’s young children make an unsettling discovery in a dilapidated cottage in the woods that shatters their innocence. Passion erupts where it’s least expected, leveling the quiet self-possession of Harriet, the eldest sister. Over the course of this summer holiday, the family’s stories and silences intertwine, small disturbances build into familial crises, and a way of life—bourgeois, literate, ritualized, Anglican—winds down to its inevitable end. With subtle precision and deep compassion, Tessa Hadley brilliantly evokes a brewing storm of lust and envy, the indelible connections of memory and affection, the fierce, nostalgic beauty of the natural world, and the shifting currents of history running beneath the surface of these seemingly steady lives. The result is a novel of breathtaking skill and scope that showcases this major writer’s extraordinary talents.

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