Since its debut on August 21st, House of the Dragon has dominated the pop culture discussion. This is not much of a surprise considering that, well, dragons are cool. Really cool. Though, it must be noted that the engrossing fantasy element is just one piece of the show’s early success. Audiences are equally charmed by the prequel’s well-crafted plot of family dysfunction – full of double crossings and political underpinnings. In other words, House of the Dragon readily confirms that family drama makes for some riveting television.
Inspired by the prequel’s captivating spotlight on the Targaryen family tree, this week’s Three to Read looks at a trio of new fiction releases following family sagas. From generational curses to buried secrets and frayed relationships, these recommendations fixate on the bonds that have the power to define us or to break us.
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
by Carolyn Huynh
The Duong sisters are plagued by a curse. A petty curse, at that. It all started with their ancestor, Oanh, who left her marriage for true love – an action that brought down the wrath of a Vietnamese witch on all of her future descendants. The curse’s prognosis? That Oanh’s lineage will never find love or happiness and will only give birth to daughters. In the current line of descendants, we encounter Mai Nguyen, who desperately seeks consult from her Auntie Hua in Hawaii. Unexpectedly, Auntie brings forth a new, deceivingly simple prophecy to unfold for the family in the coming year…
Carolyn Huynh’s brand new release follows a comprehensive cast of women on a journey of grief and celebration, mourning and healing. A multi-generational tale of family strength and dysfunction, this literary debut, centered around Little Saigon, California, is witty and passionate. If you like your fiction with a dash of something whimsical, make sure to pick up this new release. You’re sure to be enamored by this family tribe of remarkable women.
Where Secrets Live
by S.C. Richards
Liz and Meredith McCallister have a bond like no other. Raised by stepparents after the death of their biological parents, the sisters were the only constants in each other’s lives. That is, until Meredith is tragically murdered in her lake home. Liz, gutted by the loss, becomes obsessed with finding out the truth behind her sister’s death. However, the more she digs into Meredith’s past, the more disturbing and convoluted things become. Liz quickly learns that unearthing buried family secrets come with great dangers of its own.
In the realm of crime thrillers, this pick is perfect for those who enjoy the dark and gritty side of shows like House of the Dragon. S.C.Richard’s twisted family saga puts a killer spin on family drama, sleuthing around the dark corners of deception and secrecy in the lives of those we think we know best. Do note that there are sensitive themes involved in this mystery novel, so please check trigger warnings before picking this one up.
The Good Left Undone
by Adriana Trigiani
The Good Left Undone is an immersive generational saga that weaves together past and present by tracing the lineage of Italian family matriarch Matelda Cabrelli in a tale of identity and redemption. Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper family drama without one remarkable secret. In Trigiani’s novel, secrets don’t serve as a point of irremediable fracture but as a point of inspiration. Through multiple character POVs spanning a century, this sweeping story will leave you with a heartwarming sense of the universal bonds of time and family.
If you’re looking for a novel that captures the richness of family and the beauty of its enduring bonds, Trigiani’s newest release, treading into historical fiction territory, will be sure to captivate you. One of the novel’s greatest strengths is its transportive storytelling – taking you from France to Tuscany to Scotland. It’s truly an epic journey across time, a family saga crafted with graceful detail.
Looking for more book recommendations? Click here. For more on House of the Dragon, click here.