Books are like balms — grabbing the right book at the right time can provide the perfect antidote for what you’re going through at that very moment. Whether you need a dose of hope, happiness, comfort, inspiration, courage…you name it, a great book has the power to ease worries and offer a safe haven to rest and recharge. And after a lonely day or a discouraging week, there are few things better than snuggling up with a good read that makes you smile. Enter the “found family” trope! In fictional stories and literature, this beloved reading genre is known for uniting characters through their heartfelt shared experiences, connections and understandings.
Here, we’ve rounded up our favorite books — both new and old — that feature “found family.” Grab yourself a plush blanket, a steaming mug of something tasty (like this golden spice latte) and a novel that will warm your heart. Keep scrolling to discover 10 of the best found family books in an array of genres, from otherworldly fantasies to rich historical fictions, steamy romances and more. Happy reading!
If you like small town stories about family ties and secrets…
Lighthearted yet poignant, this novel follows Natalie Harper after she inherits her mother’s quaint bookshop in San Francisco. During this time, she also becomes caretaker for her grandfather Andrew, who is her only living relative — not counting her estranged father. After she moves into the apartment above the shop, Natalie hires contractor Peach Gallagher to do repairs. His young daughter, Dorothy, becomes a regular at the store, and she and Natalie begin reading together as Peach works. Soon, Natalie uncovers new connections and revelations. She also discovers a lot about her mom, her family and herself.
What readers are saying: “A lovely adventure! The book is full of wonderful characters that you would love to have in your own life.”
If you like smart, second chance romance stories…
Try Happy Place by Emily Henry
This sparkling, swoon-worthy and picturesque novel by bestselling author Emily Henry is about true love and friendship. The story follows Harriet and Wyn, the perfect couple…until they’re not. Five months after they split, they both attend their close-knit friend group’s annual trip to idyllic Maine, but no one actually knows they broke up. So Harriet and Wyn concoct a plan and stay tight-lipped about their big secret in an effort to not break their best friends’ hearts, too. After years together, surely they can spend one more week faking it…or can they?
What readers are saying: “I have loved Emily Henry’s past books, but Happy Place eclipses all of them. I loved the themes of found family, making your own happiness, and beautiful friendships.”
If you like fantastical and enchanting stories…
Magical moments and masterful prose abound in this bestselling novel about discovering an unlikely family in a surprising place. Forty-year-old Linus Baker leads a quiet life in his tiny house with his temperamental cat. He’s employed as a case worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth and oversees the well-being of children in orphanages. His latest assignment? He must travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous kids reside. Soon, Linus learns the children aren’t the only secret the island is keeping. What follows is a series of adventures for a band of misfits and the power of friends who make their way into your heart and become family.
What readers are saying: “This book made me smile, laugh and cry! This is a found family trope through and through and it’s always been my favorite — it was wonderful.”
If you like interview-style stories about music, love and friendship…
Electric chemistry, juicy drama and soul-stirring nostalgia…this book — which was recently made into a hit streaming series on Amazon Prime — has it all! Written like a biography, this exciting novel follows the rise to fame of Daisy Jones & the Six — one of the biggest bands of the ’70s led by the brooding Billy Dunne and the beautiful Daisy Jones. In interview-style chapters, readers are taken along on a gripping ride that chronicles the ups and downs of the world’s most famous rock band and the mysterious breakup at the height of their fame.
What readers are saying: “I spent most of the book convinced it was actually a true story. I’m still convinced that Daisy and Billy are real people and that the real world got to witness their chemistry.”
If you like sweeping and epic fantasies…
Try Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
High-stakes adventure, lovable outcasts and exhilarating schemes meld wonderfully in this novel by bestselling author Leigh Bardugo. When criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a heist that could make him rich beyond measure, he knows he can’t pull it off alone. He recruits a band of six gifted misfits — from convicts to spies to runaways — to plan and execute one incredible heist. An unforgettable tale about the opportunity of a lifetime!
What readers are saying: “The book is filled with action, adventure and plot twists that kept me engaged. The dynamic between the characters was full of comradery and tension, with each member of the team having a different role to play in the heist. This group is the epitome of a found family!”
If you like historical stories with cozy, descriptive writing…
As London emerges from WWII, Juliet Ashton is researching her next book subject, but she never thought she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met! As the two exchange notes, she’s drawn into this man’s circle and the world of his literature-loving pals who are part of a book group: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Enthralled and warmed by their stories, Juliet sets sail for Guernsey island to meet this charmingly funny cast of characters and what she finds changes her entire life.
What readers are saying: “It is a beautiful book that can make you giggle and cry in the same chapter. The residents of the island became a family who survived because of their love and loyalty to one another. I envy anyone who reads this book for the first time — what a delightful treat!”
If you like stories about sweet, small town romances…
Try Things We Left Behind by Lucy Score
Bestselling author Lucy Score brings readers back to the memorable town of Knockemout, Virginia — and all the beloved local characters who live there — in this third installment of the Knockemout Series. In this enthralling, spicy-sweet saga, the plot follows Lucian Rollins, a mean mogul on a quest to erase his abusive father’s mark on the family name. He’s power- and money-hungry and not looking for romance — but he can’t keep Sloane Walton, the feisty local librarian, out of his mind. The two are bonded by an old secret and a mutual dislike, but when their bickering turns into sparks flying and emotions soaring, they’re both caught by surprise.
What readers are saying: “I’m a big fan of Lucy Score and her writing! I love her humor, her characters and the found family aspects of her stories. I also loved getting to be reunited with all of the friends and family of Knockemout, Virginia.”
If you like southern-set stories sprinkled with magic…
Full of romance, enchantment and southern charm, this delicious tale whisks readers to the tiny town of Wicklow, Alabama, where Anna Kate has returned to bury her beloved Granny Zee, owner of the Blackbird Café. It was meant to be a quick trip, but Anna Kate finds herself drawn to the town, the locals and the mysterious blackbird pie everyone keeps talking about. As the truth about her past slowly becomes clear, Anna Kate will need to decide if this lone blackbird will finally be able to mend her broken wings and fly. An irresistible tale that blends magical realism, romance and small-town sweetness.
What readers are saying: “Midnight at Blackbird Café is a delightful tale of finding home. This book had me hooked from page one! It is a wonderful mix of human experience and whimsy.”
If you like thoughtful, hopeful stories…
Try A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Written by bestselling author Fredrik Backman, this novel— now a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks — stars an old man named Ove. He’s a curmudgeon with strict routines and an extremely short fuse. People in town call him “the bitter neighbor.” But behind Ove’s grouchy exterior is a story of sadness. So when a boisterous young family moves next door and mistakenly flattens Ove’s mailbox, it is just the beginning of a funny, moving string of events featuring unkempt cats and unexpected friendships…that turn Ove’s solitary world pleasantly upside down.
What readers are saying: “This was surprisingly heartwarming! I loved getting to know Ove. I like how his core characteristics don’t necessarily change, but he ends up with a new outlook in life because of the people who suddenly drop into it. If you love found-family this will be perfect for you.”
If you like slow-burn rom-coms starring unlikely couples…
Try When in Rome by Sarah Adams
This feel-good story — described as a modern take on the Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday — centers on a burned-out pop star named Amelia Rose, who escapes her hectic city life and hides in the town of Rome, Kentucky. When Amelia’s car breaks down in front of Noah Walker’s house, who is the proprietor of the local pie shop his grandmother left him, he makes it clear he has no time or patience for celebrity problems. He’s too busy running a bake shop and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own business. Reluctantly, Noah allows Amelia to stay in his guest room until her car can be fixed. Before long, Amelia starts to fall for the small-town lifestyle and despite having his heart broken by another city girl, Noah finds himself attracted to Amelia’s heart of gold.
What readers are saying: “Amelia learns a lot about herself while in Rome. She starts to find the joy of music again as well as the comfort of safe people in her life. Noah also learns about himself while trying not to fall in love. I also loved the town and its people. A bunch of gossips who have good hearts and protect those they see as theirs.”
If you like laugh-out-loud stories about road trips and self-discovery…
Try The Getaway Girls by Dee MacDonald
Connie McColl is finally free to make her own decisions for the first time in decades. Then, she meets glamorous Gill and downcast Maggie at a flower-arranging class, and she realizes she’s not the only one dreaming of an adventure. The three very different women all make a pact to make this summer their best yet. As they make their way along the beaches of France and the coast of Italy in their luxury camper van, the new friends learn so much about life, each other and themselves. An inspirational and downright funny read about meeting the right people at the right time!
What readers are saying: “Three older women decide to travel cross-country in a caravan! Each character became special to me and their adventures, both good and bad, became mine too. From dreary London to sun-drenched Italy. I really enjoyed this book!”
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