Are you looking for books about dysfunctional families? Keep reading for a list of the top 10 books you will want to add to your reading list. Whether you are looking for stories full of hope or peek into real-life struggles, this list will have something for you.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.
10 Must-Read Books About Dysfunctional Families
1. Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents by Lindsay C. Gibson
"This book helped me a lot to understand why my parents acted in the ways they did. I felt like it really understood me and sometimes it even seemed like she wrote it just for me. It took a while to get through because it certainly stirred up some painful feelings, but it was worth it and facing those things helped me to accept them."
3. Will I Ever Be Good Enough?: Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Karyl McBride
"My therapist reccomended this book and although it was hard to admit my Mother is a narcissist... it cleared it up for me. My relationship with my mother has improved. Not because she changed, she won't do that. Because I changed how I react to her. I changed allowing her to trigger me. I set boundaries that are helpful to me. Some of us don't have a choice but to deal with our Moms. You can get through it much better with understanding of the narcissism. I am thankful for this book and for my therapist who recomended it."
4. Mother Hunger: How Adult Daughters Can Understand and Heal from Lost Nurturance, Protection, and Guidance
"It’s nice to know that the feelings in this book were not mine alone. It’s nice to know other women had/have issues with their mothers but we can get through this and learn to cope with what we have. I enjoyed this book. I purchased it and put it in my collection. If you have issues with your mom and have wonder why you maybe the way you are, I suggest you read this book. It’s been very helpful to me. So thank you Kelly McDaniels for writing this book."
5. It Didn't Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle by Mark Wolynn
"I love reading about DNA and how we carry the trauma of our ancestors. This book fascinated me. It also teaches you how you can recognize and let go of trauma that isn't even yours. There were many scientific studies shared about trauma that was passed unknowingly down from generation to generation. It helped me tremendously."
6. The Deepest Well: Healing the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma and Adversity by Nadine Burke Harris
"Such a good book!! I’ve been doing a lot of reading on trauma and this is a must read. Dr. Burke Harris has been such a driving force behind trauma intervention and this book is so well written and easy to read. I read the whole thing in a matter of a few days and would love a follow up book!!"
7. How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self by Dr. Nicole LePera
"I never write reviews but this book was absolutely life changing for me. I'm only on chapter 4 and I've learned things about myself, my body and my brain that have allowed me to start a path to healthier and happier relationships with myself, the people in my life, and my trauma. Found Dr. Nicole LePera on her instagram: the.holistic.psychologist and bought this book simply because her posts spoke to me in a way that was easy to relate to! Thank you Dr. LePera!!!"
8. Recovering from Emotionally Immature Parents: Practical Tools to Establish Boundaries and Reclaim Your Emotional Autonomy by Lindsay C. Gibson
"This book should be a mandatory life read if you have a less than desirable relationship with your parents. Incredibly helpful to see dynamics then be given what to do about it to make a change! Go get this if you’re in doubt here’s your sign. It’s worth every second."
9. Adult Survivors of Toxic Family Members: Tools to Maintain Boundaries, Deal with Criticism, and Heal from Shame After Ties Have Been Cut by Sherrie Campbell
"This is one of those books I could have used years ago to begin my process and perhaps the guilt I felt for cutting ties would have been less...Reading this book now had given me a sense of rightness that I did choose the right path for me. An amazing read that I look forward to rereading here and there whenever I start to doubt my choice in maintaining my no-contact with toxic family."
10. I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
"I could not put this book down! There was so much that I related to in my own life story… I cried... I laughed… I got angry… I cried some more… and laughed again. She’s honest and raw about her mental health battles and addictions. It shows you that healing is not a straight path and it’s bumpy, but it’s doable. I read this book from start to finish in less than 24 hours. Must read!!!"
I hope you found these books about dysfunctional families helpful. They remind us that human relationships can be complex and that having other people mirror our own struggles and challenges can be validating and liberating. Let me know what you added to your reading list.
What are some books about dysfunctional families that you recommend?