The reason we all love family stories, be it the ones on screen or on page, is that they always include all the great themes – love, conflict, joy, betrayal, loyalty and humour. We can easily transport ourselves into fictional families because they’re so personal and relatable. It’s safe to say that no family is perfect and can have its fair share of suffocating parents, sibling rivalries, teenaged tantrums, and sometimes, outright craziness! All families have their own special quirks, which is one of the many reasons we love the Plumb family from The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. Whether you’re a part of dysfunctional siblings fighting over an inheritance, an orphan boy adopted by wild jungle animals or a mother-daughter best-friend duo, families always provide the best entertainment!
1. The Plumbs (The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney)
The tensions between the endearingly-dysfunctional Plumb siblings finally reach a breaking point when one of them (the reckless older brother) endangers their substantial shared inheritance. Panic takes over the rest of the siblings, who had all been counting on the money to solve their own problems. Stakes are high, emotions messy, and priorities put into question. The inheritance problem could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it brings the Plumbs together like never before, forcing them to face old resentments and present, hard truths.
2. The Weasleys (Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling)
Even though the Weasleys live in the magical Burrow, the coolest house we all wish we lived in, and are a wizarding family, all of which sounds very fantastical, they still portray a very realistic family. Admits the hilarious bickering, teasing, and overcrowding, their closeness and immense love for each other make it hard not to want to be a Weasley!
3. Mowgli and His Adoptive Family (The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling)
From the wise wolf pack who raised Mowgli as its own cub, to protective, father-like Bagheera and friendly Baloo, the jungle laws surrounding family prove to be much more than just the bare necessities. With the excitement surrounding the new movie coming out in April, we can’t help but reminisce on the original story and the wild magic of Mowgli and his unusual adoptive family.
4. Jack and Ma (Room by Emma Donoghue)
Families don’t have to be big to capture our hearts. The heartbreakingly beautiful bond between Jack and Ma in Room is an excellent example of this, and of the unwavering love between a mother and her child. Room had us all falling in love with little Jack and desperately rooting for Ma, who reminded us of the challenges single moms can face and the strength, resilience and unconditional love they are made of.
5. The Pritchetts/Dunphys/Tuckers (Modern Family)
Who can’t relate to divorce, remarriage, blended families and marriage equality these days? The Modern Family clan openly embraces the traditionally unconventional family image as the new norm, showing us that love (and a lot of humour) does, in fact, conquer all.
6. The Finches (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee)
Nine-year-old Scout Finch, her older brother Jem, her father Atticus, and their maid Calpurnia make up one of the most unforgettable fictional families. This touching, spell-binding story is so deeply rooted in human emotions and the breaking of stereotypes, no wonder it is still so loved and relevant now!
7. The Crawleys (Downton Abbey)
The Crawleys are everything you think of and more when you picture a rich, aristocratic British family in the early 1900s. We love the extraordinary clothes they wear, their lavish tea rituals, their cute Labrador retriever, but most of all, the sarcastic, drama-loving grandmother—Violet! If you’re going through Downton Abbey withdrawal now that the series is over, check out the book Downton Abbey by Kathleen Olmstead for an exciting behind-the-scenes glimpse.
8. The Brontës (Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley)
Ever wondered what early life was like for the world-famous novelists who wrote such favourites as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights? Well, wonder no more! Charlotte, Emily, Anne and Branwell, one of history’s most cherished literary families, are beautifully imagined and brought to life in Lena Coakley’s atmospheric and remarkably researched book Worlds of Ink and Shadows.
9. The Gilmores (Gilmore Girls)
Witty, sassy, and free-spirited, Lorelai and Rory are the all-time most adorable mother-daughter duo. Whether we identify more with rebellious, confident Lorelai or with her smart, book-loving daughter Rory, we can agree that the close relationship between the Gilmore girls definitely gives us that warm and fuzzy feeling every time we watch them. Don’t forget to get your coffee and junk food ready for the up-coming revival!
10. The Starks (A Song of Ice and Fire/ Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin)
If you’re a fan of the George R.R. Martin series A Song of Ice and Fire or the popular HBO show Game of Thrones, you know why we included the Starks on this list. And if you’re a fellow Canadian, you’ve probably adopted the cheerful Stark motto “Winter Is Coming” as your own personal slogan. Although they haven’t had the best of luck in terms of character longevity, you have to admit House Stark is the best family in Westeros, not to mention the most morally sound (which isn’t too hard to achieve when you’re competing against the likes of the Lannisters). Oh, and did we mention they have direwolves as pets? While we patiently wait for Mr. Martin to write the last two volumes, we can watch what happens to the remaining Starks when the show returns in April!
So did we miss any? Let us know what you think over on twitter @savvyreader.
Follow me on twitter: @irinapintea_