By Erin Kolb
Right now I’m in a TV-watching kind of mood. I’m hooked on NBC’s family dramedy “This Is Us” about parents Jack and Rebecca Pearson and their three children, Kevin, Kate and Randall. Using flashbacks to tell the stories of their lives, this tearjerker of a show displays what it means to be family – the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s heartwarming and heart-wrenching all at the same time, and I cannot get enough.
Which leads me to a booklist for fans of “This Is Us” — books in which complicated family dynamics are the center of the story.
“America for Beginners” by Leah Franqui
A widow from India travels to California to learn the truth about what happened to a son who was declared dead shortly after he revealed his sexual orientation to their traditional family.
“The Children’s Crusade” by Ann Packer
When their younger sibling returns, the three oldest Blair children find their lives disrupted in ways they never could have imagined. They each tell their stories, which is interwoven with portraits of their family at crucial points in their history.
“The House We Grew Up In” by Lisa Jewell
When their picture-perfect Cotswold village family life is shattered by a tragic Easter weekend, four siblings pursue separate adult lives. A reunion at their childhood home reveals astonishing truths.
“I’ll Be Your Blue Sky” by Melissa de los Santos
Shifting between the 1950s and the present and told in the alternating voices of Edith and Clare, this emotionally evocative novel probes the deepest recesses of the human heart and illuminates the tender connections that bind our lives.
“The Turner House” by Angela Flournoy
After a half-century of family life, the Turners learn their house on Detroit’s East Side is worth only a fraction of its mortgage. Family members gather to reckon with their pasts and decide the home’s fate.
“The Wangs vs. the World” by Jade Chang
A wealthy but dysfunctional Chinese immigrant family has it all, only to lose every last cent. Angry at America, Wang, a brash but lovable immigrant businessman takes his family on a cross-country road trip that, despite a few harrowing twists and turns, eventually brings them back together again.
Kolb is the adult services librarian at Asotin County Library. Her love for reading began at a young age with the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series. Let her know what books you’re into now at: firstname.lastname@example.org