15 Best Books About Family Secrets Update 05/2022

As a reader, finding a family secret is one of the most exciting and rewarding things you can do. The first thing they do is make our own family secrets seem less weird, because everyone has them. And the more amazing they are, the easier it is to get caught up in the story, so that’s why they are so amazing. I’ve put together a list of 15 of the best books about family secrets, both fiction and nonfiction, classics and new releases. Make sure to check this out if you’re looking for eye-opening revelations or emotional healing. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for here.

Keep this list in mind if you want to read about dark family secrets in a mystery book.

Fiction Books About Family Secrets

These Ghosts Are Family by Maisy Card

When you hear Stanford Solomon’s name, you know that he has a big secret. His real name is Abel Paisley, and years ago, he faked his own death in order to get a new identity. He now goes by that name. But when he goes into end-of-life care, he meets a nurse named Irene Paisley, who is his firstborn daughter. The family thought he was dead for so long because of this meeting.

The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobst

After Hazel’s grandfather dies, she gets a letter with his last request in it. She has to deliver her grandfather’s last math equation to a former colleague of her grandfather’s who is being sought by a dangerous group. But before that, she has to figure out the equation, with only the clues her grandfather left behind.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

It was an accident when Korede’s sister, Ayoola, shot and killed the first man her brother killed. She says that’s what she thinks. That doesn’t make sense at all. Korede wonders if there’s something else going on with these deaths, and her sister keeps asking her to help her get rid of yet another body. In the movie, Korede’s sister might be the only way to save Ayoola’s boyfriend, a doctor at Korede’s work.

There’s a Word for That by Sloane Tanen

Marty Kessler is a former film producer who is addicted to opioids like his first wife, the acclaimed author Bunny Smalls. Each of them and their children are forced to talk about their own problems when they end up in the same rehabilitation center. Then, as these family members become closer, they can come to terms with the past so they can live in the now with peace.

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

Betty Ramdan’s only source of comfort after the death of her husband is her friend, Mr. Chetan, who is also a friend. As time goes on, she asks him to move in with her and her son, Solo. In the movie, Solo grows up and relies on the three people he met in the movie. When he finds out about a secret, Solo is devastated.

Solo leaves Trinidad right away and moves to New York to get away from his overwhelming feelings. But when Solo gets a call from Mr. Chetan, he has to face his pain and figure out what makes someone a family member.

Undiscovered Country by Lin Enger

17-year-old Jesse Matson went deer hunting with his dad. He didn’t think only one of them would make it back alive. Whether or not a doctor agrees, everyone thinks the person killed themselves. There is still a ghost of Jesse’s father that haunts him. Jesse wants to make things right because he’s hurt and wants to move on. In this modern version of Hamlet, Jesse has to figure out the family secrets behind his father’s death before they eat him alive. This is how it works:

Monogamy by Sue Miller

Graham, a bookseller, and Annie, a photographer, seemed to be the perfect match. Graham was a loving husband. Ann Annie is heartbroken when Graham dies on the eve of their 30th wedding anniversary, leaving her alone and heartbroken But when Annie finds out that Graham has been unfaithful to her for years, she finds it hard to mourn a man she may not have fully known.

Nonfiction Books About Family Secrets

The Lost Family: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland

So many families are using 23andMe and other DNA testing companies to find out what they don’t want to know. It’s becoming a big thing. Often, its users are put to the test for no good reason and end up learning things they didn’t know. Copeland tells the story of one woman whose DNA results raised questions that were not expected. He also talks about the issue as a whole.

All You Can Ever Know by Nicole Chung

She was put up for adoption when Nicole Chung was born. She was raised by a white family who didn’t have to deal with the same prejudices as her. She became more and more curious about her biological parents. During her search for her parents, Nicole learns that some of the things they told her about them might not have been true.

All You Can Ever Know, by Nicole Chung. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

The Good Daughter by Jasmin Darznik

Jasmin Darznik was helping her mother move after her father died. She found a picture of her mother that made her think. Jasmin’s father isn’t in the picture. She is wearing a wedding veil, but the man next to her is not her father. At first, her mother doesn’t want to talk about the picture or how it connects to her past. She sends ten cassette tapes from her mother that show her troubled and abusive first marriage, as well as a sister Jasmin didn’t know she had, to show how much her mother loves her.

Paper Love by Sarah Wildman

Her grandfather had a file called “Correspondence: Patients A–G” in his things when he died. Sarah Wildman found it after her grandfather died. But inside, she found love letters. They were not to her grandmother, but to a woman named Valerie, not her grandmother. The more Sarah looks into her grandfather’s past, the more she learns about how he used to live and love before World War II.

Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg

Steve Luxenberg always thought his mother, Beth, was the only person in the world who had a child. His mother told him that she had a sister at a doctor’s appointment that was not very important. Steve was shocked by this revelation, whether it was an accident or not. His mother’s past starts to come together as he learns more about her. He goes on a journey that takes him across the United States and Europe while he uncovers ghosts from the past.

Paula: A Memoir by Isabel Allende

Paula Allende goes into a coma soon after her honeymoon because her liver disease is getting worse. In the hope that Paula will be able to read what she has missed if she gets better, her mother starts writing her letters. But as Isabel writes, she puts together the history of her family and ancestors, with their best stories and their darkest secrets.

Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Dani sent her DNA to a genetic testing group on a whim in 2016. But she found out that her father wasn’t her biological father, and that made her shocked. When Dani learns a shocking secret, it shocks her, but it also helps her put together the pieces of her childhood that were missing before.

I’m Supposed to Protect You from All This by Nadja Spiegelman

She was so enthralled by her mother, Françoise Mouley, the director of the New Yorker, as a child that she was almost bigger than a person and not a person. She didn’t know why, but when Nadja grew up, her relationship with her mother became more strained for reasons she didn’t understand. Years later, Nadja’s mother finally told the truth about her troubled childhood. A woman named Nadja moved to Paris so that she could meet the grandmother who caused her mother so much pain.

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