10 Emotional Novels About Parents and Children

Reading emotional books can be a great source of catharsis, and nothing pulls on your heartstrings quite like family. Novels about parenthood can capture the imagination of any reader, whether they have kids of their own or not. If you want to dive into a well-written book that focuses on the joys and struggles of having children, then check out the ten great choices listed here. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Books About Parent-Child Relationships: Our 10 Picks

Title Author
1. The House of Broken Angels Luis Alberto Urrea
2. Henny on the Couch Rebecca Land Soodak
3. The Kitchen Daughter Jael McHenry
4. We Sinners Hanna Pylväinen
5. The Nearness of You Amanda Eyre Ward
6. The Abundance Amit Majmudar
7. Fräulein M. Caroline Woods
8. Kitchens of the Great Midwest J. Ryan Stradal
9. Time to Let Go Christoph Fischer
10. Driftwood Tides Gina Holmes

Helpful Products for New Parents

If you're expecting your first child and want to make sure you're fully prepared, be sure to add these to your checklist:

  • A baby backpack so you can take your little one on-the-go
  • Some baby wash to keep away germs & bad smells
  • A bottle for when they get hungry
  • If you have extra time to cook, a baby food maker is a good investment
  • An entertaining play mat will keep a baby stimulated
  • Keep track of precious memories with a baby book
  • Some cute & comfy onesies
  • A monitor so you can keep track of them without being glued to the nursery

8 Great Films About Family

  1. We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
  2. Big Fish (2003)
  3. The Godfather (1972)
  4. Parenthood (1989)
  5. Life Is Beautiful (1997)
  6. A Quiet Place (2018)
  7. Juno (2007)
  8. My Sister's Keeper (2009)

Parenting in the Modern World

In Depth

The people who brought you into this world can be kind and loving, but they can also make your life miserable without even trying. From watching a baby take their first steps to laying a parent to rest, our lives are defined by the moments we spend with these people, which is why parent-child relationships make for such dramatic fiction. Here, in no particular order, are ten novels sure to tug at your heart strings.

In the #1 slot is "The House of Broken Angels" by Luis Alberto Urrea. Big Angel can't fight off cancer for much longer. When he invites the rest of the De La Cruz family to his San Diego home to celebrate the end of his life, he ends up dealing with much more than he bargained for, including the death of his mother. With all the family members under one roof to say goodbye, old wounds are reopened as Big Angel tries to make sense of his life as a proud Mexican-American living in an often hostile world.

For #2, we have Rebecca Land Soodak's "Henny on the Couch." Kara worked hard to escape her painful childhood. Now, as the mother of a young daughter who's beginning to display signs of a learning disability, she's struggling to process the regret she feels over decisions in her past. This is a perfect choice for anyone who didn't have a model upbringing and worries they may not be ready for the tough job of parenting.

Kara worked hard to escape her painful childhood.

At #3 is "The Kitchen Daughter" by Jael McHenry. After losing her parents at age 26, Ginny is unsure of herself and what she wants to do with her life. There's one thing she does know: she loves cooking, and it's the only thing left that makes her feel connected to her family. That might have something to do with the fact that the ghost of her Nonna is haunting her kitchen and seems to have something important to tell Ginny. Is it related to her family's past and all the cryptic letters and photos she's just now digging up in her parents' attic?

#4 is Hanna Pylvainen's "We Sinners." The Rovaniemis might seem like your average family at first glance. But inside this deeply religious household, the family's nine children are struggling to carve their own identities while trying not to disappoint their devout parents. With each chapter narrated by a different member of the family, we see how the fracture of a tight-knit clan can affect everyone involved in different ways.

Coming in at #5 is "The Nearness of You" by Amanda Eyre Ward. Heart surgeon Suzette is happy in her career and her marriage, but when her husband admits that he's longing to have children, she's unsure if she's up to the task. Terrified of passing on the mental illness that runs in her family, she and her husband opt for a surrogate. They find Dorothy, a young woman who's desperate for a bit of cash and a fresh start. What seems like a match made in heaven, however, quickly gives way to its own set of complications.

They find Dorothy, a young woman who's desperate for a bit of cash and a fresh start.

At #6 is Amit Majmudar's "The Abundance." When siblings Mala and Ronak are informed of their mother's life-threatening illness, they rush to her side. As first-generation immigrants, Mala and Ronak's parents have been able to thrive in their new country without giving up their Indian identity. Mala hopes to learn everything she can about her mother's cooking while she has the chance. But when Ronak gets the idea to turn their experience into a documentary, conflicts over assimilation, culture, and identity come into view.

#7 is "Fraulein M." by Caroline Woods. In 1931, sisters Berni and Grete find themselves thrust toward opposite sides of the growing conflict in Germany. Adventurous Berni spends her time at cabarets and becomes ensconced in the gender-fluid art scene. Meanwhile, Grete finds work as a maid in a Nazi household. Years later, in 1970, a woman named Janeen Moore is looking into her family's history, and what she uncovers will expose the harsh truth of the lengths people sometimes have to go to in order to survive.

For #8 we find "Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal. Soon after Eva was born, her mother left her father Lars for a sommelier. As a single dad, Lars does his best to make Eva comfortable around the kitchen, imparting some of his favorite Scandinavian recipes along the way. As an adult, Eva continues to be shaped by her love of cuisine as she pursues her career as a chef all the way to stardom. Each chapter focuses on a different dish as we see how feeding our loved ones can sometimes say the things we ourselves are unable to.

As an adult, Eva continues to be shaped by her love of cuisine as she pursues her career as a chef all the way to stardom.

#9 is Christoph Fischer's "Time To Let Go." After a difficult incident at work, Hanna heads to her parent's home in rural England to reassess her life. What she finds is that her elderly parents don't have things figured out any more than she does. Her mother has Alzheimer's and is fading by the day, and her father Walter is trying his best to do right by his wife. It's up to Hanna to take care of both her parents as they try to navigate one of the most painful times in their lives.

Finally, at #10 is "Driftwood Tides" by Gina Holmes. Widower Holton just wants to forget his wife Adele's tragic death, and he certainly doesn't want to make any new friends. When a young woman named Libby shows up claiming to be his wife's biological daughter, Holton knows they both need answers. Why did Adele give her child up for adoption, and why did she never tell her husband about it? As the two learn more about the past, they find themselves forming their own type of family unit.