30 Brilliant Books About Sisters and Bonds of Sisterhood

Books About sisters
30 Brilliant Books About Sisters and Bonds of Sisterhood 38

When we started to think about what books we would put on a list of books about sisters, we realized that some sisters are not born by blood but by love and circumstances. We knew that we wanted to include books about sisterhood in this list as well.

Sometimes the family that you choose has stronger bonds than the family to which you were born. We love this list of 30 books and we hope you do too.

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Table of Contents

Contemporary Fiction Books About Sisters

Hello Beautiful

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano

March 2023 Oprah Book Club Pick

I adored this family saga about the four Padavano sisters and the man that enters their family orbit. William Waters grew up in a house with indifferent parents, so he fell head over heels for Julia and then her family.

But William’s inner demons cause a rift between the sisters that shakes the family to its core and dramatically changes the dynamics between all the Padavanos. Told over decades, this story examines the ties that bind us to our family through the ebbs and flows of life.

As one of four children, this coming-of-age story really spoke to me. Napolitano does an incredible job of accurately depicting the individual sibling relationships with one another and the role each person plays within the larger family dynamic. It’s a tall order and a near-impossible challenge to nail the complexities of a big family, but Napolitano does it with aplomb.

It’s going to be one of the best books of 2023 without a doubt. It strikes a balance between creating moments for book club discussion but also being entertaining enough to be a beach read pick. It’s a book about sisters I’ll be recommending to everyone all year.

The Vanishing Half and more family drama books

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

June 2020 GMA Book Club Pick

I adored Bennett’s debut book The Mothers so I was nervous to read her sophomore novel. Sometimes the next novel doesn’t live up to the first, but The Vanishing Half absolutely does with this wonderful and thought-provoking book.

The premise of this book set in the 70s is so unique. Two black sisters are so pale they can pass for white. One embraces her black heritage and her hometown, the other disappears into white suburbia.

When they meet up again 20 years later through their own daughters, the result is a stunning portrayal of the ties that tether us to our families. This is one of the must-read books about sisters and family drama books! It is also an amazing book for book clubs because there is so much to discuss.

the most fun we ever had

The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo

April 2024 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

Lombardo’s debut is a tremendous contemporary fiction book about the complicated dynamics and hidden secrets of the Sorenson parents and their 4 daughters.

The coming-of-age story is told alternately in the present day when Jonah reunites with the daughter who gave him up 15 years prior, and the past touches on moments in the Sorenson family history that are returning to haunt them.

Each character is deliciously flawed in a way that makes you feel like you’ve known them for years. I love that at the heart of the story, the book is about the many forms of love and how to live well. I cannot believe that Claire Lombardo is not a 50 or 60-year-old woman with children of her own. 

This is one family saga book you must read! It’s perfect for our list of books about sisters!

Fortunes of jaded women

The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh

September 2022 GMA Book Club Pick

This family drama tells the tale of Mai, her estranged Vietnamese sisters, and her 3 daughters. After meeting with her psychic in Hawaii, Mai is determined to reunite with her family and find happiness and good marriages for all of her daughters within the year.

But life has other plans for her meddling and the year that unfolds brings unexpected changes for everyone. Will what Mai was told come to pass or will she lose her last chance to reconnect with everyone she loves?

I have a soft spot in my heart for meddlesome mothers and family drama books about sisters. I love when a story brings me into the hearts and minds of an entire family in a way that has me rooting for each character to find their proper place within each other’s lives. It is a must-read from our ultimate list of beach reads 2023.

Wedding sisters

The Wedding Sisters by Jamie Brenner

This wacky story about three sisters who get engaged at the same time is laugh-out-loud funny. When their parents decide that the best way to save money is to throw them a joint wedding, well…let’s just say it’s a wild ride! How can there not be some serious drama?

Full of heart, sisterhood, and love, this contemporary fiction family drama story is one of Brenner’s best works. Of all the books featuring weddings on this list, this is probably one of my favorite feel-good books for the wedding season and it is a perfect pick for a list of books about sisters!

The holiday swap

Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox

When Charlie Goodwin gets a concussion, and cannot smell or taste, she doesn’t know what to do. Her job as a chef and the promotion she has been working toward is on the line.

She begs her twin sister Cass to switch places like they did when they were kids. She will take over the bakery and Cass will pretend to be her.

This adorable holiday romance is just the book to brighten your day and put a smile on your face. How could we not put it on a list of novels about food? This is one of the best holiday books we have read!

it all comes down to this

It All Comes Down to This by Therese Anne Fowler

The Geller sisters are reeling over the loss of their mother and the secrets she revealed at her will reading. They have to work together to sell their holiday home but their lives are unraveling in the process.

One sister is broke. One sister is going through a divorce. One sister is convinced her husband is gay. By the end of the month (and the story) each of their lives will look entirely different.

Will their mother’s death be the catalyst for changing their lives for the better or the wave that drags them under? If you are a lover of family dramas, this one is for you.

Thrilling Books About Sisters

No One Can Know

No One Can Know by Kate Alice Marshall

This is one story that kept me intrigued until the very end. When Emma finds out she’s pregnant and her husband loses his job, she needs to return to her childhood home, where she hasn’t been since the night of her parent’s brutal murders – murders she was accused of committing.

But when she returns, new memories come up and it causes her to dig into what exactly happened all those years ago. She lied back then to protect her now estranged sisters, but should she have?

This twisty book covers the bonds of sisterhood and the trauma of living in a home with abusive, manipulative parents. **Trigger Warning for scenes of child abuse**

Why We Love it I didn’t know who to believe or what really happened until the very end. It’s a great medium-paced thriller for a cold winter night. The audiobook narrator really immersed me in the story, I couldn’t stop listening! #gifted by Macmillan Audio

Find this book in Domestic Noir Books, Books about Sisterhood

saint

Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin

Don’t you feel that some books are just meant to be listened to and not read?⁣ That’s how I felt about Daisy Jones & The Six, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, Echo, and now Saint X. Each of these full cast audiobooks brings the novel to life.

⁣I wasn’t sure what to expect from Saint X. I think I was suspecting a thriller or a mystery because the story opens with an 18-year-old girl who dies on her tropical vacation with her family. Her then-7-year-old sister, Claire, is our narrator. Now in her 20s, after a chance meeting with someone connected to the case, Claire is trying to figure out exactly what happened all those years ago.⁣

The story is also peppered with accounts from a few other key people in the case. Each one of these players is a different narrator which just made the entire production feel real. ⁣But it doesn’t quite fit into one genre. It’s also a book about the relationship between sisters, even those separated for years, and was perfect for our list of books about sisters. The other part of the story that I love is the subtle commentary on race and class that are woven throughout.

The Good Sister

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

The good sister is a psychological thriller that will keep you on your toes until the very end. Fern and Rose are twins who have always had each other. Rose is the responsible one who has always looked out for Fern.

Fern has trouble reading social situations, doesn’t like loud noises, and makes dangerous mistakes all the time.

Rose’s most important job was protecting Fern from their crazy mother. When Fern decides to have a baby for Rose, secrets start to come out. This is one of the books about sisters that will keep you guessing until the end and even then, you’ll be thinking about this book.

my sister serial killer

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Despite the title, this book is more literary fiction than anything else. Korede has to hide the secret that her gorgeous sister, Ayoola, is a serial dater who murders her many boyfriends.

When Ayoola sets her sights on the only man Korede fancies, Korede has to decide where her loyalties lie. More about the emotional bonds of sisters, the murder is just an undercurrent of the story forcing emotions to the surface of this book.

Why I Love It: This is one of the best murder mystery books of all time and is not to be missed. Easily one of the most unique books about sisters and books in general, I’ve ever read. This debut was fabulous.

Find This Book In African Novels / Books About Sisters / Fiction Serial Killer Books

The favorite Sister and other faux celebrity and influencer books

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll

It’s a thriller and chick-lit and feminist literature all in one! You start off knowing there is a murder and then traveling back to find out what happened and why she was killed.

But here is the kicker – the victim is a REALITY TV STAR. So the whole thing is like watching a behind-the-scenes look at Desperate Housewives.

It was seriously amazing guys.  It’s truly the perfect beach read and a great one for our list of reality tv books.

Beach Reads About Sisters

feels like summer

Feels Like Summer by Wendy Francis

Set throughout Memorial Day Weekend, this book intertwines the tale of three sisters each going through individual struggles. One is having a romance with a married man, one is struggling with a divorce, and one is out of cash… again.

As the sisters head to the beach to bolster their moods, they learn to lean on one another to help each other out of their tough spots.

My Thoughts: Wendy Francis writes such cozy beach reads and this one is no exception. It was a fun story that kept me entertained while reading!

The Chicken Sisters

The Chicken Sisters by K.J. Dell’ Antonia

December 2020 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

This is another winner picked by Reese Witherspoon! This was an enjoyable family drama based around two sisters competing in a fictional reality tv food competition.

As the competition turns to tricks and sabotage, the sisters’ war with each other turns ugly. Family secrets just keep getting exposed and the hijinx gets better and better. This was the perfect light read to end 2020 and a perfect pick for a list of books about sisters. If you are looking for books about food, this should be on your must-read list.

the Identicals

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

My first book by popular writer Elin Hilderbrand certainly won’t be my last! What a treat of a beach read! This story about estranged sisters working to settle their father’s estate was utterly engrossing.

I was flipping pages of this beach read at lightning speed as I sought to understand what drove the sisters apart and if they could help repair their lives and their relationship. The secondary characters in this book about sisters were particularly well thought out.

the unlikely adventures

The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters by Balli Kaur Jaswal

I enjoyed this story about three sisters who are on a pilgrimage back to India to spread the ashes of their mother.  In a letter to her three daughters, she leaves strict instructions for the stops that her daughters must take along their journey in the hopes that they can reconnect with each other. 

While I enjoyed the story, I found it to be a little slow until about halfway through.  I am happy that I continued to the end of this book about sisters so I had closure.

Historical Fiction Books About Sisters and Sisterhood

The Nightingale

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

March 2023 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

This is a remarkable story of two sisters who live in France. As historical fiction goes, this one set the standard for me. It is one of my all-time favorite books. It details how they survive the Second World War under Nazi Occupation. The sisters are separated by time and have completely different experiences in the war. 

This book is one of the books that should be read in a lifetime. It is a total tear-jerker and one of those books about WWII and books set in France that are basically essential reading! If you are looking for the best book club books, this is one of them.

Florence Adler Swims Forever

Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland

This book takes place in the United States just before WWII.  Every summer the Adlers rent out their house in Atlantic City and move to a small apartment. Florence returns from college so she can spend the summer practicing to swim the English Channel. 

When Florence dies in a tragic accident, the family decides that they cannot tell Florence’s sister who is in the hospital on bed rest after losing a child a year before. 

Why I Like it: I loved the writing, the story, and the desire to keep the family together at all costs. As the best full-cast audiobooks do, the multiple narrators brought this wonderful story to life.

Find this book in Sisterhood Books / Full Cast Audiobooks / Books Set at the Beach

the other boleyn girl

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The modern-day monarchy has NOTHING on Henry VIII’s England. That man was a serial philander who literally changed the course of history over his love of Anne Boleyn. While everyone knows about Anne, this particular story is about Mary, her sister whom he fell in love with first.

We see the entire sequence of events through the eyes of Mary, the only member of Anne’s family to survive. This book is also a movie starring Scarlett Johanssen and Natalie Portman.

Three sisters

Three Sisters by Heather Morris

Heather Morris did an outstanding job telling the story of three sisters who, against all the odds, survived the horrors of Birkenau together.

Heather’s storytelling is engaging and unputdownable despite the atrocities these sisters had to endure. The way these women supported each other and saved each other was both heartbreaking and wonderful. I spent half the book crying tears of joy and happiness. This is one of the books about sisters that is extremely emotional.

if you want to make god laugh

If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais’s sophomore novel is a brilliant work of literary fiction that has left me in its wake weeks after I finished it. Thank you so much for my copy of this book!!! This story examines difficult topics with such love and sensitivity. From AIDS and poverty to racism and homophobia, this isn’t a book that you can skim over parts. 

Every word has its place but, it is written so poetically that I found myself trying to remember the words of wisdom within the pages. If I could give more than 5 stars I would. I laughed and cried with the characters in this book whose stories captivated me from the first page. It’s one of the best books of 2019.

Band of Sisters and more WWI books like The Alice Network.

Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig

This is an incredible novel about the women of Smith College who went to help French war victims on the war front. The band of 15 women in this novel is based on the 18 real-life heroes of Smith College.⁣

These ladies started from scratch to help those ravaged by war only to have the war come back and destroy the lands around them again. But they never faltered in their quest to help the war-torn villages of women and children impacted by the war.⁣ ⁣

The book gives a well-rounded feeling of what these women needed to do to save the lands and the people and is an emotional pick from books about friends.

Sunflower Sister

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly

The third and final installment in the Lilac Girls series, Sunflower Sisters focuses on the Civil War.

I found myself pondering how much easier it is as an American to look at WW1 and WW2 as distant history, but the Civil War makes me so uncomfortable to read about.

I like to think that’s the work I’ve been doing to learn the history of slavery that is at the root of this country’s origin and examine my own privilege.

I did love this story and I learned more about slavery in the border states during the war and just how complex that issue was for the union.

Classic Books About Sisters

little women

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I remember reading this coming-of-age novel with my grandmother when I was young. It features a family of four girls who are trying to support each other and their mother while their father is away at war.

The classic story by Alcott has survived for generations for a reason, the way she wonderfully encapsulates what it’s like to be in a family. The highs and lows of the personal and collective lives of Beth, Jo, Amy, and Meg are an endearing testimony to the bonds of sisters.

Find this book in Books for 13-year-olds / Literary Classics / Books about Motherhood

Pride and Prejudice BN

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

We love this classic love story. This love story has everything you could want. Elizabeth Bennet is a smart and stubborn woman who was ahead of her time. With 5 Bennet girls, one of them must marry well to support the other sisters.

There are so many new and wonderful adaptations of this novel, that we did an entire post on it. And you don’t want to miss the other Jane Austen adaptations in the post as well.

Austen is a master of romances and this book is the original enemies-to-lovers novel! It’s my favorite of all the Jane Austen books.

Find this book in Books About Sisters / Enemies-to-Lovers Books / Jane Austen Books in Order / Grumpy Sunshine Books / Classic Romance Novels

Fantasy Books About Sisters and Sisterhood

The Lost Sisterhood

The Lost Sisterhood by Anne Fortier

Anne Fortier did it again with this feminist retelling of the Amazon legend. This dual timeline story has a modern-day Amazon expert on a hunt to find the treasure left behind by the Amazons she’s sure existed.

It flashes back to the time of the Trojan war as we learn about the origins of the Amazons and what caused the female warriors to become involved with the Trojans.

81v0tS IFZL

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

For years, the Owens women have known that their bad luck is because of a curse. This book is the first book in the Practical Magic series. I just adore this tale of magic, family, and sisterhood. At this point, this is one of the best urban fantasy books and it is truly iconic.

Gillian and Sally are sisters who have been raised by their two aunts. They both want to leave their small Massachusetts town. But, when Gillian gets into trouble, she runs to Sally for help.

The trouble comes back to haunt them and when a hunky police chief comes to town, the sisters try hard to cover up their family secrets. The powerful bond between the Owens sisters brings this story to life and is a must for a list of books about sisters. This is the first published book in the Practical Magic series and the one I recommend you read first.

If you love adult fantasy books, check out: Practical Magic Books in Order and More Witchy Books for 2023. This is a must-read if you love witch books and my favorite of all the Alice Hoffman Books.

practical magic

Practical Magic Books in Order and More Witchy Books

If you love Practical Magic, Check out our post of books just like it.

YA Books About Sisters

hunger games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This is the first book in the Hunger Games series and it is epic! In the aftermath of what was once North America, there are 12 Districts surrounding the capital.

Each year, each district sends one boy and one girl to fight to the death in a competition called “The Hunger Games”. Katniss Everdeen volunteers as a tribute to save her younger sister, Prim, from certain death in the games where it is kill-or-be-killed.

Why We Love This Book: This sci-fi book has everything but at its heart, it is a book about family, love, and survival. This young adult book has a heart while making you turn the pages!
Find this book in Books Like the Hunger Games / Young Adult Fantasy Series / Books About Sisters / Sci-Fi Books / Books Like Fourth Wing / YA Dystopian Novels

you have a match

You Have a Match by Emma Lord

Winter 2021 YA Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, she does it to support her best friend and secret crush, Leo. She doesn’t expect to find an older sister she never knew she had. ⁣To find uncover the entire story and get to know her green juice-loving, Instagram queen sister, Abby heads off to camp where her sister works.

It also happens to be the same camp where Leo works as a staff chef. ⁣This Reese book club YA winter pick is a perfect YA romance with a little more depth and emotion. It’s one of our favorite books about sisters!

Enchantee

All That Glitters (Enchanteé #1) by Gita Trelease

Camille is an orphan who must use magic to transform pieces of metal into money in order to buy food for her sister. But when the magic starts to fail, Camille must use dark magic to transform herself into a baroness in the court of Louis the 16th. The magic is beautiful in this young adult fantasy novel.

Soon, the dark magic takes its toll and Camille must make a choice between reality and magic. When revolution erupts, Camille must determine how to survive. This YA historical fiction is a great one.

caraval

Caraval by Stephanie Garber 

When it comes to YA Fantasy books, this one is a classic. The story begins with letters from Scarlett to Legend, the leader of Caraval- a game played once a year in a far-off destination.

Every year, every time it is played, the game is different. Filled with magic and wonder, Scarlet plays this destination-based competition to win this year’s prize – her sister Tella – before anyone else can. This is a game filled with magic where the stakes become higher the longer Scarlet plays.

Why We Love It: This is the first book in a three-part series that gets better and more complex with each new book. This series of YA fantasy romance books is a must-read.
Find this book in Stephanie Garber Books / YA Fantasy Romance Books / Books Like the Selection / Best Puzzle Books

Clap when you land

Clap When You Land By Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives in the Dominican Republic and counts down the days until her father comes to visit every year from New York City. 

Yahaira Rios lives in New York City and her life changes forever the day she finds out her father has been killed in a plane crash on his way to the Dominican Republic for his summer trip. 

Why I Like it: The story of the sisters meeting and each finding out new things about their father and each other made for quite a story. This is one of the most emotional and poignant books about sisters. 

Find this book in Books about Sisters / Plane Novels

to all the boys Ive loved before

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

Imagine if all your past crushes found out you liked them all at once. EEK! That’s what happens to the heroine, Lara Jean Covey when the love letters she wrote get mailed! While this is a romance novel, the series works for our books about sisters post too!

I love Lara Jean – she is quirky, cute, and totally reminds me of me in high school – except she gets to date the most popular boy at school. But their relationship is fake —- or is it? This is a great YA fake dating book and while not necessarily enemies by the strict meaning of the word, we wanted to include this in our enemies-to-lovers books. And you can check out Best YA Romance Books to Indulge in Now for more books like it.

Middle-Grade Books About Sisters

The Penderwicks

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

An imperfect family, the Penderwick family (consisting of the father, 4 daughters, and their dog) go spend their three-week summer vacation at a cottage they rented. Mrs. Tifton, a grumpy, snooty woman, and her son Jeffry own the cottage that is part of the Arundel estate.

The first in a realistic fiction series of 5 books about sisters, this wonderful book is perfect to read aloud at night or listen to on audio for a family roadtrip.

to Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

This tween book came so highly recommended that I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But, I loved it. Is it about two girls who could not be more different whose fathers fall in love and send them to camp together so they can meet before they all become a family.

It is told through emails sent back and forth between the girls, family, and friends as well. It is so well written and is ultimately a story about friendship and unconditional love. This middle grade book deals with really complicated issues like what makes a family in a completely approachable way. It is this reason that this book is found on our Book Lists for 13-Year-Olds.

Which books about sisters have you read and loved?

This post fulfills a prompt for the 2023 reading challenge! It’s not too late to join!

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3 Comments

  1. I have several of these books on my shelf. So happy to pull one of them off my shelf for the April challenge. Now to decide which one.🤔