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5 books to read that will help understand and celebrate family love

An emotion that describes the love that thrives among families, behind closed doors. A love that does not glorify selfishness but finds itself in small, and very often unnoticed, moments of tenderness.

Shreya Thapliyal | New Delhi |

Love (noun): A strong feeling of affection.

It must be indeed a wonder that despite being the most talked about emotion known to humans, most of us are puzzled about the concept of love. It is one of the most elusive emotions known to mankind—also one of the most sought after.

Over the ages, many hauntingly beautiful tales have been written explaining the labyrinth of emotions that come under this one word. We have cried reading the tale of the ruination of Heathcliff and Catherine, spent nights wondering what happened of Scarlett O’ Hara and Rhett Butler, had our faith retained when Noah and Allie eventually found their way back to each other.

However, while the devastating and romantic nature of love has always been glorified with some beautiful tales and good looking characters, there is a rarely touched side of this emotion.

An emotion that describes the love that thrives among families, behind closed doors. A love that does not glorify selfishness but finds itself in small, and very often unnoticed, moments of tenderness.

A few mesmerising tales of love have been written that have tried to personify the feeling that exists between a family, the bond that they share and how they define us. Tales that try to define a heartbreak as clear as a day with every new struggle. Tales that have tried to define every bubble of smile that comes to the surface with a new found hope.

Here are some of the books that delve into family bonding:

· My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Anna is a thirteen-year-old girl who has undergone multiple surgeries since childhood to save the life of her sister Kate— who is suffering from Leukemia. Conceived just for this reason—Anna’s life revolves around her sister so much she does not understand her existence without Kate. She sues her parents for the rights of her body and the novel follows her along with her family as they navigate heartbreak, family ties and the unbreakable bonds that we share with our family that define us as a person.

· Snap by Belinda Bauer

One sticky summer day, Jack and his two sisters are stranded in a car on a deserted road. They sit there waiting for their mother to arrive—she does not come back and is later discovered dead by the police. Snap heartbreakingly shows what most novels fail to do so.

The novel shows a family falling apart at seams, a small boy who dreams about his mother while sleeping in others’ bedrooms, a husband not able to deal with his wife’s sudden departure. A child’s search for his mother’s killer and his struggle to hold his family together will stay with us long after the book ends.

· The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Ashima Ganguly lives with her husband, Ashoke and two kids Gogol and Sonia in America. Having lived most of her life in Calcutta, she experiences difficulty adjusting to something so alien to her. Namesake is an enriching book that defines the generational gap, the struggle of a family trying to adjust to the surroundings and with each other.

Namesake is a story of a family desperately trying to not become strangers. It is a story that tethers generations and places together—weaving an unforgettable tale of a family caught in a war with two different ideologies and culture.

· Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are four sisters who live with their mother—their father is serving in the civil war. It is Christmas, they have struggle running the house but they have each other. Through the book, they navigate life, heartbreak, morality and dilemma. They face their own problems and come together at the end– wiser and more at peace with themselves.

· The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Amir is a wealthy boy living in Kabul, member of a ruling class. He forms an unlikely bond with the son of his father’s servant, Hassan. The Kite Runner shows Afghanistan before everything fell apart—as a country slowly withering away. It is a heartwarming story of a bond anchoring generations together.

The Kite Runner is a complex story of grave loss, of betrayal, of wounds that cut too deep. It is also a tale of redemption and hope, of loyalty and love. It is a masterpiece that tugs our heartstrings and gives the possibility of a better future on the horizon.