Family Sagas


Allende, Isabel. House of the Spirits. FIC ALL
The story tells of the three generations of the supernaturally gifted Trueba family; starting with telekinetic Clara, who marries the wealthy and abusive Esteban and ending with Alba, the last clairvoyant descendant who ends up in a concentration camp during the Pinochet regime.

Budnitz, Judy. If I Told You Once. FIC BUD
The story begins with 16-year-old Elena, who flees Eastern Europe to America, leaving behind her mother and several siblings. History seems to repeat itself within the three generations; the women experience the same problems with their daughters as their mothers did with them. When Mara, Elena’s granddaughter gives birth to a son, the three women learn they must reconcile with one another.

Eve, Nomi. The Family Orchard. FIC EVE
A nearly 200-year-old saga of a Jewish family in Jerusalem, told from two points-of-view: the narrator’s father, who compiles the family’s history, and the narrator, Nomi Eve, who brings the history to life. Together, they capture the generations of family legends, loves, losses, triumphs and tragedies.

García Márquez, Gabriel. One Hundred Years of Solitude. FIC GAR
The founding and the decay of the small, mythical South American village of Macondo, told through the history of the Buendía family. For over the course of a century, the family faces disasters, and the same struggles occur generation after generation after the original patriarch commits the original sin.

Gurley-Highgate, Hilda. Sapphire’s Grave. FIC GUR
Sapphire is an African woman who was sold into slavery in 18th Century America. Through her strength and courage, she rises above oppression and poverty, qualities which she passes down to future generations.

Haley, Alex. Roots. 305.8 HAL
Kunta Kinte, a tribal prince in Africa, is captured and becomes a slave. Over several generations, his descendants eventually survive to regain their freedom.

Hoeg, Peter. The History of Danish Dreams. FIC HOE
Covering four centuries, the history of Denmark is captured within the stories and dreams of the Laurids family, starting from a 16th Century landowner who wants to stop time to the 20th Century marriage of a golden boy to a rebellious young girl.

MacDonald, Ann-Marie. Fall On Your Knees. FIC MAC
Spanning five generations in the early 20th Century and moving from Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia, the Piper family is steeped in secrets, lies, and unspoken truths. At the eye of the storm is one secret that threatens to shake their lives—even destroy them.

Mann, Thomas. Buddenbrooks. FIC MANN
Follow four-generations of an affluent German family and their rise and fall from wealth after giving into the seduction of modernity.

McCullough, Colleen. The Thorn Birds. FIC/PBK MAC
The Cleary family saga begins in the 1900s with a New Zealand farmer who relocates his family to the Australian Outback and follows three generations through secrets and loves.

Meacham, Leila. Roses. FIC MEA
A multigenerational Texan family, whose story spans most of the 20th Century, begins with Mary Toliver, a young cotton plantation heiress whose brother goes off to fight in World War I and their alcoholic mother who hangs herself. As a terminally-ill older woman, Mary recalls her regrets in life and how she gave up the love of her life to marry a rich man to save her family’s plantation.

Puzo, Mario. The Godfather. PBK P
The gangster novel classic chronicles the life of Don Corleone, the patriarch of a New York mafia family, who struggles to rule the underground world of organized crime and to hold his family together.

Schulman, Audrey. A House Named Brazil. FIC SCH
Fran’s mother abandoned her at the age of fourteen to fend for herself in the family’s isolated Ontario farmhouse. Years later, Fran receives phone calls from her mother every night at 6pm, to tell Fran family stories of colorful ancestors.

Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited. BDC WAU
Captain Charles Ryder fondly recalls the time he spent between the two World Wars with the Marchmains, an eccentric aristocratic family, and the decline of the world of privilege that they knew.

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