Genealogy and Novels

Posted on Monday, August 13, 2012 by Robyn_Bookworm

Genealogical Research has become a popular hobby these days, due in part to newer technologies and services that make researching your family history easy and accessible for everyone. SCCL is hosting an ongoing series of programs at each of our branches to introduce you to genealogical research. Our website also provides tons of genealogical resources to help you get started.

Why is it so important to learn about your family history? The more you know about your past, the more you know about yourself. Not convinced? Here is a list of novels in which family histories provide pivotal plot-lines. As these novels prove, you never know just what secrets you will uncover when you begin looking into your past. May these characters provide the inspiration you need to begin researching your own family and discover the mysteries of your heritage.

One Hundred Years of Solitude




One Hundred Years of Solitude -Gabriel García Márquez

Most copies of 100 Years of Solitude come equipped with a genealogy chart in order to keep track of the many members of the Buendía family. As you read through this classic tome you will be thankful that this cheat-sheet is provided. Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s tale is a sweeping family history full of magic, heartache, love, and loss. Above all else it is a story about story-telling, and the impact that a family’s history can have on each successive generation.

The Woman in White

The Woman in White -Wilkie Collins

Woman in White is widely regarded as being one of the first ever detective novels, but its mystery has not declined since it was first published in 1859. Told through the letters and diary entries of various characters, the story follows the ill-fated romance of Marian Halcombe and her would-be lover Walter Hartright as he attempts to uncover the family secrets that have put Marian in danger at the hands of her own fiancée. This is gothic mystery at its finest and will keep you turning pages well into the night.

The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief -Rick Riordan

In this first book of the Percy Jackson series, Percy is about to discover that the monsters, creatures, and gods of Greek mythology are not actually myth. Somehow, Percy stumbles right into the middle of an ancient feud: Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen and it falls to Percy to recover it. Amidst all of the chaos, Percy must also deal with his own feelings towards the father who abandoned him, because everything seems to lead back to the identity of the man Percy never knew.

The Joy Luck Club

The Joy Luck Club -Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s beloved novel follows the lives of four Chinese women and their American daughters. Each mother has her own story to tell about her immigration from China to America. Although the daughters feel like they have nothing in common with their old-fashioned mothers, the stories help them realize just how much they have truly been shaped by their mothers' histories.


Juliet -Anne Fortier

When Julie Jacobs begins researching her family history, she discovers an amazing love story. In the 14th century her ancestor Giuletta Tolomei met and fell in love with a man she was never even meant to know. That man’s name was Romeo, and their forbidden romance would go on to inspire one of the greatest romantic tragedies of all time -Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Anne Fortier’s modern adaptation follows Julie on her quest to uncover the story of the star-crossed lovers and the ways that her own life changes as a result of this new-found family knowledge.

~Robyn's Bibliomania


Do you know of any more books that would fit this list? Leave a comment and let us know.

Tagged: Amy Tan, Anne Fortier, Book Blog, Family Secrets — Fiction, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Inheritance and Succession — Fiction, Juliet, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Rick Riordan, The Joy Luck Club, The Lightning Thief, The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins, Campbell News, Adult Fiction, Classics, Fantasy, Mystery,