We all love books for different reasons, so I always try to feel out why someone loved a book when I give a recommendation. If you loved Bill Clegg’s novel Did You Ever Have a Family, here are four more titles to check out based on the book’s unique traits.
Let’s start with story. Just like Did You Ever Have a Family, Jung Yun’s Shelter is a heartbreaking, but beautiful, novel centered around a family tragedy. Though its perspective is different and pace is quicker, Shelter has a similar feel, particularly when it comes to the truths families must face in the wake of life-altering change.
It’s nearly impossible to forget June, the central voice of Did You Ever Have a Family, dealing with the loss of everyone she holds dear. If her voice resonated with you, you’ll hear it echoed in Enon‘s Charlie Crosby as he mourns loss of his daughter in the year after her death. (This is a small book, but be ready for big, ugly tears.)
The small town setting of Did You Ever Have a Family can act as both a fuel and a salve, depending on the character and the situation. The case is much the same for Addie Moore and Louis Waters in Our Souls at Night. Though their small town holds them together, it also knows their secrets and becomes increasingly constricting as they seek one another’s company.
One of the most unique aspects of Did You Ever Have a Family is its brilliant use of alternating perspectives to shed light on the novel’s central tragedy. Though it’s story is completely different, Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is another amazing example of the same technique, with a look at the World Trade Organization protests in 1990.