The Greatest "Domestic, Fiction" Books Since 2000

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This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 305 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

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Domestic

The "Domestic" category of books typically refers to stories that focus on the everyday lives and experiences of individuals and families within their homes and communities. These books often explore themes such as relationships, family dynamics, personal growth, and the challenges and joys of daily life. Domestic fiction can include a range of sub-genres, from heartwarming family dramas to suspenseful psychological thrillers, but all share a focus on the intimate and personal aspects of human experience.

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  1. 51. All Grown Up by Jami Attenberg

    The novel follows the life of a 39-year-old single, childfree woman living in New York City who is dealing with the societal pressures and expectations of adulthood. Her journey is marked by her struggle to find happiness and fulfillment in her own terms, despite her unconventional lifestyle. The protagonist grapples with her relationships, career, and the looming presence of her family's tragedies, all while trying to understand what it truly means to be "all grown up".

    The 9358th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 52. The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

    "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett is a novel that tells the story of twin sisters, Desiree and Stella, who grow up in a small, southern black community in the 1950s and 60s. After running away from home at the age of 16, Stella decides to pass as white and marries a wealthy white man, while Desiree returns to their hometown with her dark-skinned daughter. The novel explores themes of identity, race, family, and the consequences of choices made in the past. As the sisters' lives diverge, their daughters' paths cross, and secrets are revealed, ultimately leading to a powerful and emotional conclusion.

    The 9546th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 53. After You’d Gone by Maggie O'Farrell

    The novel revolves around a young woman named Alice Raikes, who, after an unexpected and traumatic event, slips into a coma. As she lies unconscious in a hospital, the narrative delves into her past, unraveling the complexities of her relationships with her family and her intense love affair. Through a series of flashbacks and the perspectives of different characters, the story explores themes of love, loss, and the intricate tapestry of human emotions that bind and separate us. The reader is taken on a poignant journey through Alice's life, uncovering the secrets and memories that led up to the fateful moment that changed everything.

    The 9597th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 54. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

    In "Boy, Snow, Bird," a young woman named Boy Novak escapes her abusive father in New York City to settle in a small town in Massachusetts, where she marries a widower and becomes stepmother to his daughter, Snow. After giving birth to her own daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, it is revealed that her husband and stepdaughter are light-skinned African Americans passing as white. The book explores themes of identity, beauty, and the damaging effects of racism as Boy grapples with her feelings towards Snow and Bird, and the societal implications of their different skin tones.

    The 9679th Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 55. A Spool Of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

    The novel delves into the complex dynamics of the Whitshank family, spanning across four generations, living in Baltimore, Maryland. The narrative weaves through time, unraveling the family's secrets, rivalries, and bonds as it focuses on Abby and Red, the aging parents, and their children who grapple with their own identities and relationships. The story explores themes of legacy, memory, and the nuanced fabric of familial love, all symbolized by the titular spool of blue thread, which holds sentimental value and represents the threads of stories that connect the family members to each other and to their shared past.

    The 9689th Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 56. The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud

    The novel centers on Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who once dreamed of becoming an artist. Now in her late thirties, she feels the bitter sting of unfulfilled dreams and is often referred to as the "woman upstairs" due to her quiet, unobtrusive existence. Her life takes a dramatic turn when she becomes enamored with the Shahid family—Skandar, a Lebanese scholar, Sirena, an Italian artist, and their son, Reza, who becomes one of Nora's students. As Nora becomes increasingly entangled in the Shahid's charismatic and sophisticated world, she is awakened to new emotions and ambitions, but this infatuation leads her down a path of passion, betrayal, and a reexamination of her own identity and desires. The novel is a deep exploration of the themes of art, womanhood, and the complexities of the inner life.

    The 9865th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 57. My Phantoms by Gwendoline Riley

    The novel explores the complex and strained relationship between a woman and her estranged parents, particularly her mother. The protagonist grapples with the lasting effects of her upbringing, characterized by emotional distance, misunderstandings, and unmet needs. As she navigates her adult life, she reflects on the enduring impact of her childhood and the challenges of forging her own identity in the shadow of her parents' influence. The narrative delves into themes of memory, alienation, and the search for self amidst the phantoms of familial ties that both haunt and shape our experiences.

    The 10044th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 58. The Feast Of Love by Charles Baxter

    "The Feast of Love" is a novel that delves into the complexities of love through a series of interconnected stories narrated by a diverse cast of characters in a Midwestern college town. The narrative is framed by a sleepless author who, upon encountering a friend in the middle of the night, is inspired to explore the varied experiences of love, loss, and longing among his acquaintances. Through these poignant and deeply personal stories, the novel examines the multifaceted nature of human relationships, capturing both the joy and heartache that love inevitably brings.

    The 10064th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 59. Memorial by Bryan Washington

    The novel is a poignant exploration of love, family, and identity, following the complex relationship between two young men, Benson and Mike, living in Houston. When Mike flies to Japan to care for his dying father, leaving Benson with his visiting mother, the narrative delves into themes of cultural dissonance, personal growth, and the challenges of intimacy. As both characters grapple with their own internal struggles and familial duties, the story unfolds through their alternating perspectives, offering a raw and tender look at the intricacies of human connections and the ways in which we seek to find and define home.

    The 10075th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 60. Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett

    The novel delves into the lives of a family grappling with the impact of mental illness across generations. It explores the bonds and strains among family members as they confront the challenges posed by the eldest son's severe anxiety and depression. Through shifting perspectives, the narrative examines the ways in which each family member copes with their shared and individual struggles, illuminating the profound effects of love, loyalty, and the legacy of mental health issues on their relationships and choices. The story is a poignant and insightful portrayal of the complexities of familial love and the enduring human capacity for resilience in the face of emotional turmoil.

    The 10090th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 61. Improvement by Joan Silber

    "Improvement" is a novel that explores the interconnectedness of human lives across time and space. It tells the story of a single mother in New York who is drawn into a smuggling scheme with her Turkish boyfriend, which has far-reaching consequences. The narrative then branches out to tell the stories of the people indirectly affected by her actions, including her aunt, a truck driver, and a couple in Germany. The novel is a meditation on the ways in which our actions, both big and small, can have a ripple effect on the lives of others.

    The 10096th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 62. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer

    "The Interestings" follows a group of six talented friends who meet at a summer camp for the arts in 1974. The novel spans over three decades, exploring their friendships, relationships, successes, and failures as they navigate adulthood. The story delves into themes of talent, envy, money, art, power, and the meaning of success as it examines how these friends' lives diverge and intersect over the years.

    The 10728th Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 63. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

    This novel explores the lives of two families in New York City during the 2008 financial crisis. One family is a wealthy couple who live a luxurious lifestyle due to their Wall Street connections, while the other family is a pair of Cameroonian immigrants who are trying to make ends meet. As the financial crisis hits, both families face challenges that test their relationships, their dreams, and their understanding of the American Dream.

    The 10770th Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 64. Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

    "Anything is Possible" is a collection of interconnected stories exploring the lives and struggles of various residents in a small town in Illinois. The stories delve into the characters' pasts, revealing their secrets, regrets, and the complexities of their relationships. The book explores themes of poverty, trauma, and the human capacity for change, demonstrating that despite hardships and heartbreak, anything is possible.

    The 10774th Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 65. The Position by Meg Wolitzer

    "The Position" is a novel that explores the impact of a bestselling sex manual, written by a couple, on their four children. The book, published in the 1970s, includes explicit illustrations of the couple and becomes a cultural phenomenon. The narrative, spanning over three decades, delves into the lives of the children, their struggles with their parents' public sexual revelations, and how it affects their own relationships and identities as they grow into adulthood.

    The 10847th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 66. Model Home by Eric Puchner

    The novel explores the unraveling of an American family's pursuit of the dream in the 1980s as they move to a desert suburb in California where their hopes and aspirations begin to crumble. The narrative delves into the complexities of familial relationships and individual struggles, as the family members confront their own personal disappointments, financial distress, and emotional breakdowns. Their journey is marked by a tragic accident that further exacerbates their turmoil, leading each character to cope in different ways, revealing the fragile nature of their bonds and the illusions of their once-idealized life.

    The 10900th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 67. The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

    This novel explores the complexities of family dynamics, focusing on the Middlestein family, who are grappling with various personal and collective crises, primarily revolving around Edie, the matriarch's, struggle with obesity and its impact on her health and relationships. As Edie's condition worsens, her family's reactions reveal their individual struggles, insecurities, and the ways in which they cope with stress and change. Through a narrative that is both compassionate and unflinching, the book delves into themes of love, loyalty, and the challenges of caring for someone who seems beyond help, all while painting a vivid portrait of contemporary American life and the ways in which personal and familial histories intertwine.

    The 10925th Greatest Book of All Time
  18. 68. Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

    In this poignant sequel, readers revisit the complex and compelling world of a prickly yet deeply human protagonist, now grappling with the changes of older age. Through a series of interlinked stories set in a small town in Maine, the narrative delves into themes of love, loss, and the intricacies of human relationships. As the protagonist confronts her own mortality and the evolving lives of those around her, the novel paints a rich and nuanced portrait of a community where personal histories are as rocky and enduring as the coastal landscape, offering a profound exploration of the resilience required to embrace life's second chapters.

    The 11034th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!

Download

If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Download