November is a time for family. We Americans gather around our tables the fourth Thursday of the month to celebrate Thanksgiving, during which we appreciate our family perhaps the most of all our blessings. When I was thinking about a reading challenge for this special month, I thought about how we could celebrate family.
What about a reading challenge called Family Ties?
No, not this Family Ties:
Though, I will admit to being addicted to that show when I was growing up. (Reruns were awesome back in the early- to mid-1990s.)
For our Family Ties challenge, our main character's family ties should be featured.
Whether the main character (MC) has a huge family like this one…
… or a small two-person family like this…
… or is being raised by their grandparents…
… the MC must have a family that is a key part of his or her journey through the book.
Some of my favorite Family Ties books are…
Lizzy and Jane by Katherine Reay
This is a book about sisters, one who’s struggling with cancer, the other who’s attempting to recapture the magic of her job as a chef. It’s raw and painful and joyful all at once, revealing the reality that is often our lives: messy and frustrating but still enjoyable most of the time, even when things don’t go the way we plan.
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
The leading lady in this one is a single mother running from a dangerous past. This book moved me to tears on multiple occasions while blowing my mind with the faith angle that reached deep and wide within the MC… and myself. Again, it’s raw and messy and not always pretty. But it’s layered with truth and hope and a renewed sense of self-worth in the presence of God.
An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White
While the family in this one is not blood-related, each member is just as much family to each other (or more so) than had they shared genetics. I love that a bunch of street urchins decided to claim each other as brothers and sisters, as that is so reflective of how Jesus chooses to adopt us into God’s family through salvation. This story has adventure, intrigue, mystery, and, yes, lots of emotion, which you know (or are learning) that I completely melt over.
Note: This is book three in the Shadows Over England series. I recommend reading this series in order for optimum appreciation (and family is involved in all three, so they all work for this month’s challenge): A Name Unknown, A Song Unheard, An Hour Unspent.
When you post your Family Ties books, be sure to tell us what family member(s) was important to your MC’s journey.
How do you show your family that you appreciate and love them?
What books about family have you enjoyed?
In what ways do you celebrate your family?
October's reading challenge will Keep the Lights On.