8 Breezy Summer Books to Read If You Loved “Big Little Lies”
The book was one of our favorite summer reads of all time. But it's the recent HBO miniseries version (Emmys for Reese, Nicole and Shailene, please) that has us craving some similarly smartly plotted, breezy page-turners. If you find yourself in the same predicament, here are eight books that will keep you entertained this summer.
“The Husband’s Secret” by Liane Moriarty
Turns out, Big Little Lies wasn’t Moriarty’s first rodeo. She’s pretty much a master of the genre. We like all of her titles, but this one—about a wife finding out a dark secret about her seemingly perfect husband—is particularly juicy.
“The Awkward Age” by Francesca Segal
The widowed Julia and her teenage daughter, Gwen, are an insular team, until Julia meets James, a handsome doctor. Gwen hates his guts. But when Gwen and James’s son, Nathan, become unlikely bedfellows, the story takes on darker, modern-day Greg and Marcia Brady vibes. Segal nails the complicated nuances of blending together two very different families.
“The Heirs” by Susan Rieger
Six months after Rupert Falkes dies, his wife and five sons find out that he had a secret family. Now they, too, are vying for their shares of the Falkes family’s sizable fortune. Rest assured, things get ugly.
“Maine” by J. Courtney Sullivan
No one does multi-generational family drama better than Sullivan. This is our favorite of her oevre, about three generations of a New England Irish-Catholic family, told mostly at their beach house in Maine. The writing is so redolent, we can practically taste the lobster rolls (and hear all the petty squabbling) through the pages.
“Rich and Pretty” by Rumaan Alam
We don’t understand how this pitch-perfect book about modern female friendship was written by a man. But alas, Alam totally nails the nuances of two women bound together by history, but navigating life on very different paths.
“Modern Lovers” by Emma Straub
In the 1980s, Elizabeth, Andrew, Zoe and Lydia were members of a rock band with one major hit. Then, Lydia died at 27 of a heroin overdose. And 20 years later, Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe are living ordinary Brooklyn lives, until the past comes back to haunt them. Straub is also the author of The Vacationers, a great, sun-drenched beach read, but we especially love the complicated dynamics she sets up in Modern Lovers.
“Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal
We love this charming collection of linked short stories—told from different perspectives, but all centering in some way on Eva Thorvald, a misfit who grew up with a special palate and a strange set of circumstances all over—you guessed it—the great Midwest.
“The Futures” by Anna Pitoniak
Julia (who grew up in moneyed New York) and Evan (from a rural Canadian town) are full of hope when they head to Manhattan to start their post-college lives together. But then the 2008 economic crisis hits, and their carefully planned futures spin off in unexpected directions—a fascinating take on the New York 20-something novel.