family dynamics

This Is Us TV Show

This Is Us (DVD)

Dan Fogelman
Rated by
Edward R.
Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017

This Is Us is a dangerously addictive show about a family over multiple generations and the extreme challenges they face. The pilot episode hooks you into a compelling drama by intertwining the lives of all the characters in a unique way. The story continues with complexities that match real life and yet what we see seems more surreal than reality.

Cover image of I Will Send Rain. A woman stands biting her finger in a gritty black-and-white photograph.

I Will Send Rain

Rae Meadows
Rated by
Kari E.
Saturday, Feb 25, 2017

I Will Send Rain is both bleak and hopeful. You will feel a lot of things while reading this perfectly crafted, emotional story of an Oklahoma farm family living through the Dust Bowl.

A woman stands with arms crossed, looking forward.

A Place to Call Home, Season 1 (DVD)

Bevan Lee
Rated by
Christin D.
Tuesday, Aug 2, 2016

This is the story of a complicated woman entangled in the lives of a powerful family. Sarah survived World War II in Europe and she’s working her way home to Australia as a nurse onboard an ocean liner. One of her patients is Mrs. Bligh, the commanding matriarch of a wealthy Australian family. Sarah charms her patient’s son and grandchildren, but when she stumbles on a buried family secret Mrs. Bligh is determined to get rid of her. Instead of quietly getting out of the way, Sarah just gets on with her life, accepting a position as a nurse in a small town near the Bligh family estate.

Picture of a bed frame

Our Souls at Night

Kent Haruf
Rated by
Stefanie E.
Saturday, Mar 5, 2016

In the opening sequence, Addie Moore, a 70 year old widow, invites her neighbor Louis, also a widower, to spend the night with her. She makes it clear from the beginning that it’s not about sex. “I’m talking about getting through the night. And lying warm in bed, companionably.” They proceed to do just that and stay up late talking in the dark. Their confessions are memorable and important and when Addie's grandson comes to stay with her for the summer some unforeseen complications arise.

New York City Buildings

My Name Is Lucy Barton

Elizabeth Strout
Rated by
Cheryl M.
Thursday, Feb 25, 2016

My Name Is Lucy Barton by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout is a novel to be read slowly and savored for its richness of story. At less than 200 pages, it is a novel with a simple plot: a woman, Lucy, is in the hospital for a prolonged stay, and her mother is visiting her. Lucy has been estranged from her mother sin

Cover features watercolor of man and women walking with child

Picnic in Provence

Elizabeth Bard
Rated by
Stefanie E.
Wednesday, Sep 23, 2015

A few years ago I read Elizabeth Bard's Lunch in Paris. It spoke to me at the time. She was recently married—I was recently married. She fell in love with someone outside of her culture—I fell in love with a Midwesterner (I'm a New Mexican). She loved to cook in her small kitchen—ditto! You get the point. She was my new literary best friend.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Carol Rifka Brunt
Rated by
Helen H.
Wednesday, Aug 26, 2015

On the surface, Tell the Wolves I’m Home, is about June Elbus, a young girl whose favorite uncle dies of AIDS in 1987. It’s the early days, when misinformation, fear, and hate rule the day. With a 2012 publication date (and a 2015 reading) I read of June’s experience with a perspective that time, distance and education afford.


Dee Henderson
Rated by
Lisa J.
Monday, Aug 10, 2015

Matthew Dane was a police officer until his daughter was kidnapped and missing for years. He then left the force and started a private detective service so he could continue the search for his daughter. Once his daughter was found, he was able to help her adjust to life outside of captivity and then help other families in the same situation.

Dad is Fat

Jim Gaffigan
Rated by
Marty J.
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2015

Dad is Fat is a collection of essays on parenting written by stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan. Gaffigan writes about the trials and tribulations of raising five children in New York City in a 2-bedroom fifth floor walk-up apartment. His observations are spot on – and hilarious.

The Hundred-foot Journey

Mirren, Helen
Rated by
Melody M.K.
Saturday, May 16, 2015

The movie The Hundred-foot Journey begins in India where an Indian family that loves cooking has a family restaurant. Touched by tragedy during a fire in their restaurant, the head of the family decides they should move to a new country. After some trial and error in finding just the right spot, they come to a lovely village in the south of France and happen upon an empty restaurant for sale.