Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family Drama

Boy, do I know about family drama... and with our family most of it first arrived long after we reached adulthood. I’m the second of four and I’ve got lots of cousins I also grew up close to, so I sometimes feel like I’m part of a much bigger family, and perhaps that’s why I’m so drawn to books that explore family dynamics.

And it’s certainly one of the reasons why I love Molly’s stories. Yes, her books are romances, and the most important emotional relationship developed and explored is the one between the hero and heroine, but in every one of her stories I can think of, at least one or the other of the two main characters also have family issues to deal with. Issues with a parent. Issues with a child. Issues with a sibling. And it’s usually the scenes in which those family conflicts and scars are exposed that make me cry in her books.

Her new series The Notorious O’Neills is great and I plan to read them all again now the books are in their final form. What I found particularly interesting in these books was the idea of a family of kids who were brought up thinking that they were bad. That their family was bad. That it was inevitable that they would therefore be bad. That no one would ever give them a break or let them be anything but the sum of their family’s history.

And each of the three siblings, Savannah, Tyler and Carter, react to the burden of being an O’Neill differently. These are siblings with flawed parents, very flawed, so their bond is about surviving and protecting each other from the world and their own parents.

And of course, the books are about finding that one special person who helps them heal and who can see who they really are inside.

Plus, there’s a great little mystery that runs through the three books and doesn’t get resolved until the last one. Awesome.

This post is turning into an ad for Molly, but she so deserves it, and at the risk of adding to that,  if you like stories about broken families, you need to also check out her series about the Mitchell brothers. (BABY MAKES THREE, A MAN WORTH KEEPING, and WORTH FIGHTING FOR. And revealing that it's a series of three, not two... is slightly spoilerish... Enough said.)
I’m sure you can still get them from Amazon or eHarlequin. Boy, the hurt those Mitchell boys feel… This series of books all made me cry.

What makes you cry when you’re reading? What's more likely to make you cry -- the movies? books? Hallmark ads?


Kwana said...

Hard question but parent child esp mother daughter relationships make me cry now that I have kids and parent child problem of my own I know how hard it is to raise a child and can see from a parent's eyes. It's a totally different feeling.

Maureen McGowan said...

Good point, Kwana. I think that our perceptions of these kinds of conflicts change over time, which is why they so often work in stories. Everyone can relate to them in some way.

Eileen said...

You're so right, Kwana! For the past few years, I tend to put myself in the shoes of the mother figures of most movies and books. Not coincidentally, I often feel that it's the mother who's the true hero of the story. :-)

I got a little misty-eyed reading Molly's book when the heroine talks about having her daughter sleep in her bed and having the little body tucked in close and safe next to her. My boys are so big now! Those days are long long gone.

I also sobbed at the end of Chevy Stevens' Still Missing. It's another parent/child moment and it completely devastated me. Very powerful.

Cecilia Grant said...

Moms make me cry, too. My husband & I took the kids to see Toy Story 3: the kids were sniffling when it looked like the toys were going to be incinerated; my husband & I were wiping away tears when Andy's mom went and took one last look around Andy's soon-to-be-empty room.

In romances I'm a sucker for those moments when characters realize what a mess they've made of everything and it looks like there's no way to come back from it. Sherry Thomas's Not Quite a Husband (newly minted Rita winner!) had me choking up every five pages or so with that stuff.

And Molly's new series sounds excellent! I'd love to win one of the books.

Maureen McGowan said...

Sherry Thomas's books have the same effect on me, Cecelia. I love how she's not afraid to put her characters in these really difficult emotional places. And have them behave in ways that typical romance characters do not behave.

Looking forward to your books, too! Molly told me about them after meeting you. :)

Sinead M said...

What would make me cry? Tough question, recently her Sister's keeper(the movie)
Totally related to the mom in that one and her ferocious fight against the inevitable. I ate it with a spoon.

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