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23+ of the Best Books About Mother/Daughter Relationships

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Random House, publishers of My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.

lucybarton_flatfrontcoverLucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

Is there a relationship more potentially fraught than the one between a mother and her daughters? Such perfect fodder for fiction!

We asked you to share your favorite reads about mother/daughter relationships and you answered. Here are 23 of your picks! Note: many of these authors have explored this theme in more than one of their books, so it’s worth checking out other titles by them, too.


The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant

The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty

Circle of Three by Patricia Gaffney

Don’t Call Me Baby by Gwendolyn Heasley

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews

Glitter and Glue by Kelly Corrigan

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The Honey Thief by Elizabeth Graver

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou

Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

The Secret Between Us by Barbara Delinsky

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

The Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

A Yellow Raft in Blue Waters by Michael Dorris

You Will Know Me by Megan Abbott