Last Friday was a perfect day. It was raining and thundering outside and just a little bit chilly. With nothing scheduled for the day, I threw on a pair of sweats, I grabbed my favorite snuggly gray blanket, made myself a big cup of hot chocolate and curled up with a great book and read for an hour or two.
And later in the day, I baked chocolate chip cookies to round out my two must-dos on rainy days. Reading and baking. Perfection.
I’ve been writing these book club posts for most of the year and haven’t yet shared with you my favorite genre of books. My favorite books to pick up and get lost in. Family History Mysteries.
OK, that’s my own made-up term for the type of book I love to read. I love a good book that’s a mystery-but, not your classic murder mystery. I completely love a book that deals with figuring out what happened in mom’s past, what was grandma’s secret, who am I and how did my family’s past lead me to where I am now?
Have you read books like this? They will keep you turning the page and wanting to know and learn about the characters in the book and what these family secrets are?
Every book that I am recommending today can be listened to on Audible. And if you don’t have an account to listen to books already, you can get a free 30 day trial to see if you like it!
10 Books that Will Keep You Turning the Page:
Read along as Avery Stafford begins to unravel family secrets held for decades. Why does her grandmother look so much like the elderly woman she met at the nursing home? And how does this photograph connect the family? This interweaves with the Foss family as they are kidnapped from their home decades earlier. How do the two stories relate and will they discover the truth?
Cecilia finds a letter-a letter that was written by her husband and intended for her to open upon his death. And inside it, she finds a secret that rocks not only her world but the world of several families. This book will suck you in from the start and have you wondering what happened in this family’s life and how it is going to impact the rest of their lives.
Many of the books I am recommending today are written by authors who write great book after great book, and this is the first that fits that description. I have read several of Susan Meissner’s books and loved them, but this has been my favorite. Set in WWII in England, two sisters are separated in a bombing and their lives are ripped apart. This book, like some many of the ones I am recommending today, jumps back and forth from modern day to the past while a modern-day character tries to figure out what happened.
And, I’ve also loved A Fall of Marigolds by the same author. It’s about a woman’s experience dealing with 9/11 and jumps back to a character from 1911 on Ellis Island. And one more by her-A Bridge Across the Ocean is a fun mystery that is part ghost story.
Another absolute favorite author-her books hook me from paragraph one. This book is the story of 2 sisters and their aging mother. She’s beginning to lose her mind and as she does, secrets from her past begin to come out leaving the sister wondering who their mother really is. If you haven’t read a Kristin Hannah book, they are some of my absolute favorites (though I will warn that they can be a little heavy, have some sex and language). The Nightingale is another family history mystery by her that’s very popular right now. It’s WWII France and it’s full of twists and turns and new insight into what it was like to live through that war.
One room holds many secrets in three generations of women. This one is not only a book that jumps between generations, it’s actually written by three different authors. Each of the three main characters is written by a different author. A fun twist as you read and try to find out why the lady in the portrait looks just like Kate and why she is wearing Kate’s necklace.
I’ve maybe mentioned Kate Morton in too many of these book club posts, but I love her. She’s written 5 books and they’re fantastic, but The Secret Keeper is my favorite. When 16 year old Laurel witnesses her mother talking to an unknown man and then sees her loving mother stab him, her world is turned upside down. Now she’s got to figure out what happened in mom’s past and what is happening now.
The last of my favorite authors, I think I have read just about every book that Lynn Austin has written and loved every single one. Her books are the first family history mysteries that I read and they are beautiful. This one is the ultimate in mysteries with a dark family secret just waiting to be discovered and a life that is crashing down around Kathleen. But every book I’ve read by her has been wonderful. They are faith-based and usually have an inspiring message to go with them.
OK, your turn! What are your favorite family history mysteries? What keeps you turning the pages?!
Now don’t forget about that free 30 day trial on Audible so that you can listen to some of these books.