Welcome back to Three to Read! In just two days’ time, many Americans will gather with family and friends in commemoration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a day filled with gratitude, love, and plenty of good food. And, what better way to celebrate this family-oriented holiday than with books about just that: family! So, grab a piece of pie (or two) and curl up with one of these three riveting reads.
by Eleanor Brown
To outsiders, they appear the same as any other family. Except they aren’t one—not quite, at least. Comprised of three sets of parents who have found their lives intertwined after adopting four biological siblings, this bunch is committed to keeping the children as connected as possible. Embarking on their first-ever vacation as a family, these three adoptive mothers suddenly find themselves uncomfortably close. Later on, these fragile connections grow even tenser when they receive a call that their children’s birth mother is pregnant again. In the end, all three are forced to confront the impossible question: what makes a family?
This new novel is emotionally complex and an absolute page-turner. Taking a look at both the meaning of motherhood and family, Any Other Family forces the reader to grapple with the definition of family themselves. During a holiday as family-oriented as Thanksgiving, it is important to remember that family is not always forged by blood. It can be found as well.
Coffee Shop Read
by James Gould-Bourn
Lately, Danny has found his life falling apart. First, his eleven-year-old son, Will, hasn’t uttered a word since the death of his mother. In addition to this, Danny was recently fired from his construction job. To top everything off, he’s behind on rent and needs money desperately. As a result, Danny spends his last few dollars on a tattered panda costume, taking to street performing as his last hope.
One day, he spots his son being bullied by a group of older boys. After chasing them off, Will opens up for the first time since his mom’s passing, unaware that the man in the panda costume is his father. Danny comforts his son, but will he lose his trust once he reveals his true identity? Further, will he be able to dance his way out of his financial troubles?
Filled with plenty of relatable characters, Bear Necessity is both moving and sensitive. Additionally, this story is full of funny moments that will keep you reading until the very end. This book serves as a reminder that even in our toughest times, we can always lean on family to keep us going.
by Tracey Lange
After twenty-nine-year-old Sunday Brennan wakes up in the hospital following a drunk driving accident she caused, she swallows her pride and returns home to her family. But, it’s not easy. In fact, things are quite complicated, given the fact she deserted them all—and her high school sweetheart—five years before with little explanation. Now, they all understandably have questions.
Determined to rebuild her life, Sunday remains in New York, even if it means tiptoeing around her resentful brothers and ex-fiancé. However, the longer she stays, the more she begins to realize they need her just as much as she needs them. When a dangerous man from her past threatens the family’s pub business, the only way to protect the family is to unearth all of their secrets. In the end, the Brennan family is forced to confront painful mistakes—and ultimately find a way to move forward, together.
While family dynamics can often be complex, as seen in We Are the Brennans, they can, at times, also be extremely beneficial. This novel reminds us that we are stronger when we are together. Further, it emphasizes that, sometimes, forgiveness is the answer.