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9 Books Featuring Happy Marriages

 

Recently, someone asked for a book recommendation that featured a happy marriage and I LOVED that idea for a book list!

So many love stories focus on the falling in love stage, with less focus on the STAYING in love part of marriage.

Here are some of my favorite recommendations:

Books with Happy Marriages

9 books about happy marriages

The Good PartThe Good Part by Sophie Cousens
This one reminds me a bit of What Alice Forgot, where the main character wakes up to find herself 16 years in the future, no longer an under-employed 20 something living with multiple roommates in a very dodgy flat but instead married with two lovely children, a gorgeous house and a very legitimate career. If you like Katherine Center books, she has a very similar writing style. 

 

 

the snow childThe Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
I really enjoyed the December book from the 2023 Everyday Reading Book Club. This one is set in Alaska in the 1920s, following a couple who has recently arrived trying to make it as homesteaders. It’s pretty bleak for them until they find a little girl, Faina, who lives alone in the forest.

 

 

 

these is my wordsThese Is My Words by Nancy Turner
I read this book YEARS ago after my mom raved about it and sent me a copy. She wasn’t wrong – this historical romance is written in diary form (a format I generally don’t care for but works wonderfully here) and follows Sarah Prine and her family in the Arizona Territories where pretty much every bad thing you can imagine happens until they join up with a wagon train. The leader of the wagon train is Captain Elliot and Sarah by turns admires him and despises him. Of course she does. I LOVED this book. (Full review here)

 

 

 

the last love note bookThe Last Love Note by Emma Grey
I read this in 48 hours – it was so compelling and sweet, yet heartbreaking at the same time. Kate is trying to hold everything together for her young son, while suffering through devastating grief. She has a few people she can rely on, like her mother, her best friend, and her boss, Hugh. When Hugh and Kate end up stranded on a work trip, Kate can finally plan the next stage of her life…but she ends up in an impossible situation.

 

 

tom lake bookTom Lake by Ann Patchett
I probably wouldn’t have picked this up because I’ve only read one other Ann Patchett book (The Magician’s Assistant) and I did NOT care for it. But then my friend Jessica called me to say “YOU MUST READ THIS” and the audio – narrated by Meryl Streep – was included on Everand, so I picked it up and I’ve loved it. It’s maybe a bit slower than my normal reading picks, but it worked beautifully for me!
(I did a 30-second book review of it here.)

 

 

Frozen RiverThe Frozen River by Ariel Lawhon
After the American Revolution, a midwife in Maine, gets caught up in both a rape accusation and a murder trial. Based on real events, this one is really compelling plus has the best love story between a husband and wife I’ve read in ages. The audiobook is phenomenal!

 

 

 

My life in My Life in France by Julia Child
After seeing the movie Julie and Julia, I was interested in reading Julia Child’s book, My Life in France, that the movie was based on. Julia and her husband, Paul, move to Paris for a government assignment, she falls instantly in love with French food and she begins taking cooking classes at the Cordon Bleu. She gets recruited by two French authors to help them write a cookbook about French cooking for an American audience, since she is, in fact, American, and eventually ends up being the main author of that cookbook (or at least the one who gets all the fame in the US once it is finally published, which is a feat in and of itself). Full book review here

 

 

lessons in chemistry bookLessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
This book was so unique and just DELIGHTED me – I was completely absorbed the whole way through. Elizabeth Zott is a brilliant scientist, but it’s the early 1960s and she’s a woman, so it’s going to be hard for her to be taken seriously in her field. After several detours, she finds herself a single mother and the unexpected star of America’s most popular cooking show called Supper at Six. She is going to do this cooking thing her own way. She’s not only going to teach people how to cook using scientific principles, but she’s also teaching them to follow their dreams. The audio version is excellent! (Warning: There is a fairly graphic assault scene early on in the book.) Also, this one is maybe a stretch because they’re not actually married, but. . . it’s my book list and I’ll do what I want. 

 

 

Little WomenLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
In 1994, when the Winona Ryder and Christian Bale version of Little Women came out, my mom told me that if I read the book, she’d take me to see the movie. I read the book in a few days and loved every second of it (I went on to read Little Men and Jo’s Boys a bunch of times too). An all-time classic, it’s just so good!

 

 

I asked on Instagram for suggestions and there were lots of book titles I hadn’t read – if you’re looking for more books about happy marriages, these might be ones to try too!

OutlanderOutlander by Diana Gabaldon
After the television series came out, this became a wildly popular series. Think time-travel historical romance (I’ve heard pretty steamy romance), about a British WWII nurse who travels back in time to 17th century Scotland. And along the way, she falls in love with a Scottish Highland warrior.

 

 

 

Kiss me in the coral loungeKiss Me in the Coral Lounge by Helen Ellis
In this quick and quirky book of essays, Helen Ellis lays out all the intimate details of her long and happy marriage. Even through a worldwide pandemic and quarantine with her husband, she has discovered after two decades of marriage – she still is madly in love with him.

 

 

 

The three pines mysteryThe Three Pines Mysteries by Louise Penny
In this traditional mystery series, Inspector Gamache investigates various murders that occur in the small village of Three Pines. But while investigating, he learns that this small town has many dark secrets.

 

 

 

Class MomClass Mom Series by Laurie Gelman
Jen is an older mom who’s already been there and done that with her two older daughters (she had a wild phase during the 90s). But when she is asked to be the class mom for her youngest child’s kindergarten class by the PTA president, she reluctantly agrees. In this laugh-out-loud novel, Jen handles all the politics of the job and for the first time with a loving husband by her side.

 

 

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
Claude is the youngest of Rosie & Penn’s five children and the result of their final attempt at having a daughter after 4 boys. Claude was the perfect addition to the family – he walked and talked at an early age and was baking cakes and writing his own books by age 3. By the time Claude was 5, what he wanted more than anything was to “grow up and become a little girl”.

 

 

 

Mrs. Quinn's Rise to FameMrs. Quinn’s Rise to Fame by Olivia Ford
At 77 years old, Jenny Quinn is looking forward to celebrating her 60th anniversary with her beloved husband Bernard. Because of their age, they both agree that they should take it easy. But when Jenny is presented the opportunity  to compete on Britain Bakes, Jenny knows she can’t pass it up. After so many years, she will finally have her chance to prove herself and what she is capable of. 

 

 

 

virgin riverVirgin River by Robin Carr
Melinda Monroe is looking for a fresh start, so when she sees an ad in the paper for a midwife in a remote town of only 600 people, she jumps at the chance. After being in Virgin River for one hour, she faces a handful of obstacles she doesn’t think she can face and decides to this isn’t the job or town for her. All of her plans change, when she finds a newborn baby on the front porch of her rundown cabin.

 

 

A Land RememberedA Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith
In 1858, Tobias MacIvey moved from Georgia to the Florida wilderness to build a home and a better life for his wife and son. This novel chronicles three generations of the MacIvey family living in Florida as they battle bears, mosquitoes, starvation, and hurricanes.

 

 

 

anne of green gables bookAnne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
I read this classic series so many times as a child! I hadn’t read it in decades, but was so excited to dive into it with my girls a few years ago. Luckily they loved it as much as I did! We’ve now watched the movies and finished the series together! A pure delight! And Gilbert Blythe… he will always have my heart! (Especially when we’re talking about Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe). 

 

 

The Heaven and Earth Grocery StoreThe Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
This novel begins with a mystery taking place in 1972 – a man’s skeletal remains were found clutching a strange necklace at a construction site. The police struggle to solve the case and more is learned about the ruins of the old neighborhood, Chicken Hill, that used to be a vibrant community of Jews and African Americans, where the body was found.

 

 

 

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
Florence is a ghostwriter for a huge romance author, but she isn’t sure if she believes in love anymore after going through a messy breakup. After receiving the news that her father passed away, Florence returns home to the small town she grew up. One of the things that drove her out of town in the first place, was the fact that she can see and talk to ghosts – a gift her and her father shared. When she sees a new (handsome) ghost hanging out at the funeral parlor, will romance really be dead?

 

 

Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
This story follows two couples through life. They met during the Great Depression – Sid and Charity live on inherited wealth, while Larry and Sally Morgan struggle in comparison. Larry and Sid were colleagues in the English Department at a University and their wives hit it off at a university mixer. Despite the struggles of the time and WWII looming, the two couples continue to share laughter and friendship.

 

 

 

Where Coyotes HowlWhere Coyotes Howl by Sandra Dallas
When Ellen Webster arrives in Wyoming to take over a teaching job in the local school, she ends up falling in love with a cowboy, Charlie Bacon. She moves out to the plains to start a ranch with her new husband and the two take on all the hardships of nature and the desolate West. 

 

 

 

Mrs. MikeMrs. Mike by Benedict Freedman and Nancy Freedman
This novel follows the fictionalized account of the real-life Katherine Mary O’Fallon Flannigan. In 1907, at age 16, she was sent from Boston to Calgary to recover from illness. While there Kathy marries her husband and shares in the many experiences that were common in Northern Canada in the early 1900s. It was a life where doctors were not close by, natural disasters and plague wiped out families, childbirth was dangerous, and people really did rely on each other for survival.

 

 

 

Happiness FallsHappiness Falls by Angie Kim
When Adam and his fourteen-year-old son, Eugene go for a walk to the local park, Eugene makes it home, but his father does not. Eugene is nonverbal from a rare genetic disorder he has called Angelman Syndrome. So the question is: where is Adam and why is there blood on Eugene’s clothing? Eugene is the only one who witnessed what happened, but unfortunately…he can’t speak.

 

 

Under the Java MoonUnder the Java Moon by Heather B. Moore
After the Japanese occupy the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) during WWII, a Dutch family is separated and relocated to prison camps in this based-on-a-true story novel.

 

 

 

And if you’d like a printable copy of this happy marriages book list that you can take to your library or screenshot on your phone for easy access, just pop in your email address below and it’ll come right to your inbox!

 

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2 Comments

  1. I love this list! Just a note in case people are picky – in Lessons in Chemistry the characters aren’t actually married, just committed and in love. In Anne of Green Gables Anne doesn’t marry until the 5th book in the series. The couple she lives with are brother and sister. In Outlander she’s married to two men (in different time periods).

  2. Seeing Little Women on this list reminded me of “Marmee” (book title). Definitely features a happy, functional marriage, though it is in journal format…but it’s excellent! Becky recommended it 😁

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