Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them


-Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance


From Cormac McCarthy to Jeanette Winterson, here’s our pick of the most hilarious, moving, dysfunctional and painfully true parent-child relationships in literature.



 

We need to talk about kevin

We Need to Talk about Kevin

Lionel Shriver

Lionel Shriver's dark, heart-breaking novel about a mother’s grief and shame in the aftermath of a son’s horrific act of violence asks some difficult questions about parental love. Uneasy with the sacrifices and social demotion of motherhood from the start, Eva fears that her alarming dislike for her own son may be responsible for driving him so nihilistically off the rails.

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Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

Jeanette Winterston

Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect, seems destined for life as a missionary. That is until, at sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves.

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to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view..."

This is the kind of sage wisdom delivered by father and lawyer Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's 1960 novel. Through the young eyes of his children, Scout and Jem Finch, and the story Atticus's work defending a black man charged with rape in the Deep South in the 1930's, Harper Lee explores the irrationality of adult attitudes to race and class.

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Brooklyn

Brooklyn

Colm Tóibín

Set between 1950s New York and rural Ireland, this Costa-winning novel by Colm Tóibín is a moving story of the impact of emigration on community and the choice one young woman has to make between family and duty, and love and opportunity.

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Danny the Champion of the World

Danny the Champion of the World

Roald Dahl

Danny lives in a gipsy caravan with his father, the most marvellous and exciting father any boy ever had. A story of one boy and dad, by one of the world's best loved children's storytellers. Danny the Champion of the World follows them as they embark on their their biggest and best adventure yet, and is full of Roald Dahl's hilarious humour and charm.

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