30 Brilliant Books About Sisters and Bonds of Sisterhood
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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Contemporary Fiction Books About Sisters
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 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 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 totally does.
The premise of this book set in the 70s is so unique. Two black sisters who 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 by Claire Lombardo
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 story is told alternately in the present day when Jonah reunites with the daughter that gave him up 15 years prior, and the past touches on moments in the Sorenson family history that are coming back 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!
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.
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!
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?
Thrilling Books About Sisters
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 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, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Easily one of the most unique books about sisters and books in general, I’ve ever read. This debut was fabulous. Despite the title, this book is more literary fiction than a thriller. 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 murdering is just an undercurrent of the story forcing emotions to the surface.
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
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 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 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 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 by Rachel Beanland
I really like this book but it was not what I was expecting- it was so much more. I thought the book was about Florence Adler. I was very wrong.
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. I loved the writing, the story, and the desire to keep the family together at all costs. As all full cast audiobooks do, the multiple narrators brought this wonderful story to life. This is one of the historical fiction books about sisters you will keep thinking about.
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 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 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 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.
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 by Louisa May Alcott
I remember reading this story 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. If you have not read this book about motherhood from our list of literary classics, we highly recommend it.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
We absolutely 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, 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! How could we not include it in a list of enemies-to-lovers books and books about sisters?
Fantasy Books About Sisters and 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.
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 was 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.
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
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 from the certain death of the games. This book has everything but at its heart, it is a perfect pick for books about sisters.
If you love The Hunger Games, check out these 24 books just like it!
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!
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.
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 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, this destination-based competition is played by Scarlet as she tries to get this year’s prize – her sister Tella – before anyone else can.
There is a love story and magic as the stakes get higher the longer Scarlet plays. This is the first book in three-part series that gets better and more complicated with each new book.
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. This is one of the most emotional and poignant books about sisters.
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? 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 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 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 by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
This 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.
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.🤔
I checked my bookshelves and decided on The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh.
I hope you enjoy it!