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Seeking: Good story spanning a family generation or two.

(75 Posts)
doings Sun 11-Aug-13 18:34:18

. . .could be historical (don't fancy way back though) or contemporary. One of those books that gets you really involved with the characters and their lives through many years.

Like The Color Purple or The Corrections or The Good Earth???

Anybody got any suggestions, please. Thanks.

FrumpyPumpy Mon 26-Aug-13 20:26:46

<embarrassed> it was on Simon Mayo radio prior. That's hardly booker short list. Never mind !

FrumpyPumpy Mon 26-Aug-13 20:27:39

Programme not prior

And spelling of <>

Crikeyblimey Mon 26-Aug-13 20:30:14

Has anyone mentioned The House of Spirits by Isabel Allande? Easily my favourite book. Spams several generations of a family in Chile. Fascinating, well written and very moving / entertaining.

Also Wild Swans - 3 very different generations of a Chinese family.

5Foot5 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:33:25

Try Maisie Mosco's series which starts with Almonds and Raisins

I opened this thread intending to recommend this and I see Cheddars has beaten me to it!

I second Penmarric - love it.

But I noticed someone recommending Laurie Graham's "The Unfortunates". Normally I love Laurie Graham and have read almost everything she has written, but I really didn't take to this one. I think the spec. for this thread is better fulfilled by "The Future Homemakers of America"

Ehhn Thu 29-Aug-13 22:36:16

Paul henke million tears series

ColdfeetPinksocks Thu 29-Aug-13 22:42:03

If you like Ahdaf Soueif or Vikram Seth, try the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz. Just beautiful.

If you're after something fluffier, Penny Vincenza is great.

AmericasTorturedBrow Thu 29-Aug-13 23:33:57

Wild Swans

GwenCooper81 Fri 30-Aug-13 08:51:56

I'm in the middle of reading The Cazalets books, there are five, I'm halfway through the second and really enjoying them!
'Coming home' by Rosamund Pilcher is my favorite book ever!. Set in Cornwall before and during the war it's beautiful. One of those books that can be read time and time again. Her other books are fantastic as well, though none as good as coming home! .
I'm going to download Penmerric on payday smile

mignonette Fri 30-Aug-13 09:02:04

A great 'trashy read is Shirley Conran's 'Lace' and 'Scruples' by Judith Krantz

I also like

'Prince of Tides'- Pat Conroy
'Standing In The Rainbow'- Fannie Flagg
The Sisters'- Lori Lansen
The beauty of Humanity Movement- Camilla Gibb
American Wife- Curtis Sittingfield
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Wells (non fiction family account)
Thornbirds by Coleen McCullough (great big potboiler)
The Womens Room by Marilyn French
The Group by Mary McCarthy
Sons And Lovers by D H Lawrence

tripfiction Fri 30-Aug-13 13:52:26

I don't think anyone has mentioned 'The Family on Paradise Pier' by Dermot Bolger, 'A stunning historical saga set in the early decades of the twentieth century which follows the lives and loves of one extraordinary family'. It takes you to Spain, England, Russia, Ireland, and Dublin

From all the great recommendations you will find something perfect, I am sure!

Stokey Fri 30-Aug-13 16:13:00

I Also loved Penmarric but think the Wheel of Fortune by same author was even better. In fact all her saga ones were pretty good.

What about Robertson Davies? all pretty good

Greydog Fri 30-Aug-13 16:17:10

I didn't like the Cazalettes at all - I couldn't find a single character in the book that I cared about! Wild Swans tho, and Memoirs of a Geisha.

MistressDeeCee Fri 30-Aug-13 16:25:49

I'll probably get laughed outta here...! but I revisited the Mallen trilogy by Catherine Cookson. I read this more years ago than I can remember, its about several generations of 1 family. I never get fed up of the writing style. how absorbing the characters are, and Ive not found a trilogy Ive enjoyed so much ever since, really.

Books: The Mallen Streak - The Mallen Girl - The Mallen Litter

ParsingFancy Fri 30-Aug-13 16:26:53

The Shell Seekers was Rosamunde Pilcher's first novel, very much a family saga, and is followed by September.

Rumer Godden's A Fugue in Time covers three generations, and her China Court five. I always think of Pilcher as Godden-lite: easier to follow but also with less bite.

SilkStalkings Wed 04-Sep-13 16:56:27

Lauren Groff and Laurie Graham are both good, funny and charming with Groff being a little deeper perhaps.

3littlefrogs Wed 04-Sep-13 17:05:42

I was going to suggest the Maisie Moscow series too.
I enjoyed the Poldark series (Winston Graham)

vaticancameo Wed 04-Sep-13 17:09:25

If you like literary fiction, The Children's Book by AS Byatt is fantastic. It follows a family from the Victorian era to WW1.

SilkStalkings Wed 04-Sep-13 17:18:28

The Children's Book is good but quite hard work, I felt like I'd received a GCSE in turn of the century culture. Had to read a few light things afterwards!

OverAndAbove Thu 05-Sep-13 06:37:48

One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It covers seven generations of a family in Columbia and is absolutely brilliant. It haunted me for ages the first time I read it.

iseenodust Thu 05-Sep-13 11:37:49

From above agree especially with
Joy Luck Club
Poldark series
RF Delderfield

Disliked The Children's Book & The Poisonwood Bible

SilkStalkings Sat 07-Sep-13 08:58:00

Would a bit of time travel put you off? If not, The Little Book by Selden Edwards is very sweet.

Essexgirlupnorth Sat 07-Sep-13 09:14:12

Loved Penny Vincenzi's Spoils of Time Trilogy though read the second book first.

Currently reading Sarah Lark's Song of the Spirits which is the sequel to The Land of the Long White Cloud. Set in New Zealand in 19th century about two woman who sail from Britain to get married and follows their lives. Song if the Spirits follows their Grandchildren.

lilolilmanchester Mon 09-Sep-13 11:32:13

Been a long time since I read them, but used to love various series by iris gower. Set in Wales , interesting from a social history perspective and good old family sagas with romance thrown in

MorvahRising Tue 10-Sep-13 23:32:57

Another vote for Penmarric, The Wheel of Fortune and Susan Howarth's books in general, and also the fantastic Cazalet chronicles. I've only just found out that the fifth in the series is coming out in November and am intending to book the nearest Saturday, light the fire and dive in until I finish it!

I haven't read it yet, it's nearing the top of my to-read list, but what about the Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy? I've had several recommendations for this from friends.

sherbetpips Wed 11-Sep-13 12:14:57

Jeffrey Archer The Clifton Chronicles, 3 books so far, 4th due out soon. 4 generations of two familes so far. Cannot wait for number 4, as 3 was a real cliff hanger.

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