The mother-daughter relationship is a special one. It can be full of love, laughter, and happiness, but it can also be complicated and intense. These books explore the mother-daughter bond in all its forms, and they’re sure to leave you feeling inspired.
A mother-daughter relationship is one of the most important in a woman’s life. It can be complicated, intense, and inspiring all at the same time.
There’s nothing quite like the bond between a mother and daughter. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, laughter, or a good cry, these books about mother-daughter relationships are sure to do the trick. From classics to more modern reads, there’s something on this list for everyone.
So, grab your daughter (or your mom!) and settle for a good read. These books about mother-daughter relationships are sure to leave you feeling inspired.
Inspiring Mother Daughter Relationship Books
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy
by Jamie Ford
When Dorothy Moy discovers that her five-year-old daughter is exhibiting the same dissociative behavior as herself, to save her from the same fate, Dorothy turns to an experimental treatment and connects with her ancestors. As she tries to break the cycle of pain and abandonment, she discovers that love has been waiting for her all along.
The Dream Daughter
by Diane Chamberlain
A novel about a mother’s love for her daughter and the lengths she’ll go to keep her safe. When Caroline discovers that her unborn child has a severe heart condition, she sets out on a desperate quest to find a cure. Along the way, she must confront her dark past and make some impossible choices. As she does, she learns that the strength of a mother’s love knows no bounds.
The Joy Luck Club
by Amy Tan
Published in 1989 and adapted into a film in 1994, the story is set in San Francisco and Shanghai in the 1940s and 1950s and follows the lives of four Chinese-American women who are all daughters of immigrants. The women meet regularly to play mahjong, eat dim sum, and tell stories about their lives. The novel explores the themes of mother-daughter relationships, identity, and the Chinese-American experience.
One Italian Summer
by Rebecca Serle
When her mother dies, Katy is left reeling when she needs her the most. To make matters worse, they had a planned mother-daughter trip to Positano, the idyllic location where Carol spent the summer before meeting Katy’s father. She has been waiting for this trip for years and is now on her own. But as soon as she sets foot on the Amalfi Coast, she can feel her mother’s spirit.
by Jodi Picoult
After Alice Metcalf’s mysterious disappearance, her daughter Jenna has never given up hope that her mother is still alive and is determined to find her. With the help of a psychic and a private investigator, Jenna sets out to uncover the truth. But as they get closer to Alice, the danger increases, and Jenna must decide how far she will go to get her mother back. Brimming with the twists and turns, Jodi Picoult readers will be enthralled by this emotionally charged novel about a daughter’s determination to find her mother and the forces that threaten to tear them apart.
by Janet Fitch
This is the story of Ingrid, a mother who is convicted of murder, and her daughter Astrid, who must fend for herself in the foster system. Set against the backdrop of Los Angeles, the novel follows Astrid as she moves from one foster home to another, each one its universe with its laws and dangers. Through her journey, Astrid discovers her own strength and resilience and learns to forgive her mother for the crime that tore them apart. White Oleander is a powerful story of motherhood, love, and loss that will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
The Secret Love Letters of Olivia Moretti
by Jennifer Probst
A heartwarming story about three sisters who discover a secret about their mother’s past. After finding an old trunk containing ownership papers for a house on the Amalfi Coast, along with a love letter to their mother from an anonymous man, the sisters embark on a trip to Italy to track down the mysterious ex-lover and figure out who their mom really was. Along the way, they experience the magic of Italy, the power of sisterly love, a little unexpected romance, and newfound hope for the future.
Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch
A romantic novel that follows Lina, a girl who moves from America to Italy after her mother dies. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home. But once in Italy, she learns more about her mother- and herself. People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
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Where’d You Go Bernadette
by Maria Semple
Bernadette Fox is a brilliant architect who has won awards and accolades for her work. But lately, she’s become increasingly reclusive, spending her days holed up in her home in Seattle with her 15-year-old daughter Bee. When Bee learns that her mother has been offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a new school in Antarctica, she’s thrilled. But Bernadette is anything but enthusiastic about the trip, and she eventually disappears entirely. It falls to Bee to try to piece together what happened to her mother and where she might have gone. In doing so, she uncovers Bernadette’s secret past and why she’s been so withdrawn from the world.
The Mother’s Promise
by Sally Hepworth
A novel about the unbreakable bonds between mothers and daughters and the new ways in which families are forged. The story follows Alice Stanhope and her daughter, Zoe, as they face some of life’s biggest challenges. Alice is diagnosed with a terminal illness and she must find stability for Zoe before she dies. With no family to speak of, Alice turns to Kate, a nurse, and Sonja, a social worker, for help. The novel is full of heart and humor, even in the darkest moments. It is an unforgettable story about family, love, and loss.
Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng
A suspenseful story about a mother’s unbreakable bond with her child: the book follows the lives of two families in a wealthy suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The Richardsons with their seemingly perfect lives and the Warrens, a mother and daughter who have just moved to town. When the Warrens move into the Richardsons’ neighborhood, the two families are drawn into a conflict that will change their lives forever. Little Fires Everywhere is a timely and essential novel about mothers, daughters, race, and class.
My Name is Lucy Barton
by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy Barton is a successful writer and mother, but she cannot forget her humble beginnings in rural Illinois. When she becomes seriously ill, her estranged mother comes to visit her in the hospital, and the two women begin to mend their relationship. As they chat, Lucy recalls her childhood growing up in poverty in Amgash, Illinois. She remembers her father’s abuse, her mother’s stoicism, and her determination to escape her circumstances. Despite the hardships of her early life, Lucy went on to get an education, start a family, and build a successful career. With luminous prose and deeply human character, this is a powerful and unforgettable novel.
Mom & Me & Mom
by Maya Angelou
In Mom & Me & Mom, Angelou dramatizes her years reconciling with the mother she preferred to call “Lady,” the profound moments that shifted the balance of love and respect between them. Delving into one of her life’s most rich, rewarding, and fraught relationships, Mom & Me & Mom explores the healing and love that evolved between the two women over the course of their lives. This book is a moving and ultimately uplifting account of mother-daughter love from one of our most treasured writers.
by Toni Morrison
This novel explores the bond between Sethe and her daughter, Beloved. Sethe was a slave who escaped to freedom. However, her daughter Beloved was not so lucky. When Sethe’s former owner comes to take her back, she kills Beloved rather than let her be taken into slavery. Beloved is a haunting and powerful novel about mother-daughter relationships, slavery, and the power of love.
by Brit Bennett
Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s debut novel is about teenage pregnancy and its impact on a close-knit community. Nadia Turner is a seventeen-year-old girl who becomes pregnant by the local pastor’s son, Luke Sheppard. The novel follows Nadia, Luke, and their friend Aubrey as they grapple with the consequences of their choices. With richly drawn characters and a compelling story, The Mothers is a novel that is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Mother and Daughter Psychological Thrillers
by Gillian Flynn
When Camille Preaker returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, she is tasked with covering the news about the murdered young girls. But as she begins reconnecting with her family, specifically her mother Adora and half-sister Amma, Camille is also faced with her own demons. As Camille tries to lead a normal life, she is constantly reminded of the complicated relationship she has with her family. And when she finally uncovers the truth about what happened to the murdered girls, she is forced to confront her past’s dark secrets.
by Kimberly McCreight
A single mother tries to piece together her teenage daughter’s tragic death. Kate receives a call from Grace Hall, her daughter’s school, saying that Amelia has been suspended and she must come to get her. But when Kate arrives, she finds the school surrounded by police officers, fire trucks, and an ambulance. Amelia has died, and Kate is left to try and figure out what happened in the last days of her life. McCreight tells a story of mothers and daughters, secrets and friendships, and how far a mother will go to save her daughter’s memory.
Pieces of Her
by Karin Slaughter
Andrea Oliver knows everything about her mother, Laura. Or so she thinks. When a trip to the mall ends in violence, Andrea suddenly sees a completely different side to Laura. It turns out that for nearly thirty years, Laura has been hiding from her previous identity. Now she’s been exposed, and her life will never be the same. Andrea is on a desperate journey to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past. If she can’t, there may be no future for either of them…
Then She Was Gone
by Lisa Jewell
Laurel Mack is a mother still grieving the loss of her daughter Ellie, who went missing ten years prior. When Laurel meets a man named Floyd at a coffee shop, she develops feelings for him, even though he has three daughters of his own. However, Laurel can’t help but notice the striking resemblance between Floyd’s youngest daughter Poppy and her own missing daughter. As Laurel begins to investigate Floyd and his family, she uncovers dark secrets that could finally give her the answers she’s been searching for.
by Zoje Stage
Hanna is a seven-year-old girl with a problem: she’s trying to kill her mother. Suzette loves her daughter, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. She’s also becoming increasingly frightened by Hanna’s little games, while her husband Alex remains blind to the failing family dynamics. Soon, Suzette starts to fear that maybe their supposedly innocent baby girl may have a truly sinister agenda.
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These are just a few of the many great books about mother-daughter relationships. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!