8 Family Sagas to Listen to

In 2001, Congress passed a resolution that made October Family History Month, when we’re encouraged to delve into our family stories. As we look to the past, we uncover universal experiences that connect us to one another.

These experiences have long been explored in literature, particularly in generational family sagas. Love, grief, growth, and the pull of family are beautifully rendered in these stories you should listen to.

And the Mountains Echoed

In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Khaled Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another, and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us.
Listen to an excerpt And the Mountains Echoed

Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi
Read By: Dominic Hoffman

The story begins with two half-sisters, one sold into slavery, the other married to a British slaver. It then traces the generations of family who follow, as their destinies lead them through two continents and three hundred years of history.
Listen to an excerpt Homegoing

The House at the Edge of Night

A sweeping saga about four generations of a family who live and love on an enchanting island off the coast of Italy.
Listen to an excerpt The House at the Edge of Night

Saints for All Occasions

Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. There they must hastily deal with a situation that challenges them both. When they confront each other again decades later, this secret from the past emerges, and their family must either break apart or stay together.
Listen to an excerpt Saints for All Occasions

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
Author: Mira Jacob
Read By: Mira Jacob

Celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen has been sitting on his porch, talking to dead relatives. So his daughter, Amina, comes home to help. Soon realizing things are more complicated than her mother has led her to believe, Amina discovers she must confront her family’s painful past to help her father.
Listen to an excerpt The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing

Some Luck
Author: Jane Smiley
Read By: Lorelei King

This first story in a dazzling epic trilogy takes us through cycles of births and deaths, passions and betrayals, among the Langdon family of Denby, Iowa.
Listen to an excerpt Some Luck

A Spool of Blue Thread
Author: Anne Tyler
Read By: Kimberly Farr

From Red’s father and mother, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to Abby and Red’s grandchildren, carrying the family legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of Whitshanks, their lives unfolding in and around a sprawling, lovingly worn Baltimore house.
Listen to an excerpt A Spool of Blue Thread

The Twelve Tribes of Hattie (Oprah's Book Club 2.0)

In 1923, fifteen-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a better life. After her first children, twins, die, she gives birth to nine more children. Captured here in twelve luminous narrative threads, their lives tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage and the journey of a nation.
Listen to an excerpt The Twelve Tribes of Hattie