Share 13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

Taylor Noel is a marketing manager in the Random House Group. She loves literary fiction and memoirs, but will read any book put in her hands. Taylor shares her book obsessions on Instagram @books_with_taylor.

Powerful family dramas. Heartwarming love stories. Uplifting accounts of second chances. Triumphant tales of overcoming. Charming and endearing characters. We’ve got it all. Here are 13 novels that will make you feel good—about the world and yourself—long after you finish reading.


The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
by Phaedra Patrick

If A MAN CALLED OVE made you feel good, so will this novel about a 69-year-old man whose simple, routine lifestyle is disrupted when he finds an unfamiliar gold charm bracelet among his late wife's possessions. Arthur Pepper sets out on an epic quest to find out the truth about his wife's secret life before they met. With a cast of characters with big hearts and irresistible flaws, THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER celebrates life's infinite possibilities.

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The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
Phaedra Patrick

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Less
by Andrew Sean Greer

If you've ever wanted to run away from a problem, you'll relate to this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. LESS is the story of a 49-year-old failed novelist who ends up traveling around the world to literary events just to avoid his ex-boyfriend's wedding. Through all the mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings, and mistakes, Arthur Less will find his first love and his last.

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Less
Andrew Sean Greer

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You Me Everything
by Catherine Isaac

With this novel in one hand and a glass of chilled rosé in the other, you'll have everything you need for the perfect feel-good read. Set in a cháteau in the French countryside, YOU ME EVERYTHING is about a young mom who will do anything to take care of her 10-year-old son—including a long summer vacation with the ex-boyfriend she urgently needs to make fall in love with her son.

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You Me Everything
Catherine Isaac

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MENTIONED IN:

13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

By Taylor Noel | May 3, 2018

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On Turpentine Lane
by Elinor Lipman

I dare you not to love Faith Frankel. After returning to her suburban hometown at age 32, Frankie finds some mysterious artifacts in the attic of her new house on Turpentine Lane. Is anything in life as it seems? This is a screwball romantic comedy complete with love trouble, family disarray, a murder investigation, and a heroine you'll easily champion.

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On Turpentine Lane
Elinor Lipman

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13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

By Taylor Noel | May 3, 2018

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The Light We Lost
by Jill Santopolo

Nothing makes me feel as good as a well-told love story. And this one does not disappoint! Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives, but then Gabe leaves for the Middle East on a photojournalism assignment and Lucy pursues a career in New York. Thus begins a 13-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, love. This novel kept Reese Witherspoon up all night—and it'll do the same to you.

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The Light We Lost
Jill Santopolo

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When God Was a Rabbit
by Sarah Winman

WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT is the funny and quirky story of siblings Elly and Joe, spanning from Essex and Cornwall to the streets of New York, and from 1968 to the events of 9/11. Together they encounter many secrets and the pull and power of family ties. This novel is a love letter to true friendship and fraternal love that will charm your pants off.

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When God Was a Rabbit
Sarah Winman

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The Truth According to Us
by Annie Barrows

Evoking the appeal of small town life in West Virginia, THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US is the story of an inquisitive young girl, her beloved aunt, and the alluring visitor who changes the course of their destiny forever. With long-buried family secrets, delightfully eccentric characters, and a plot that will have you rapidly turning pages, what's not to love? PLUS it's written by Annie Barrows, author of the beloved novel THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY.

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The Truth According to Us
Annie Barrows

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MENTIONED IN:

13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

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Dumplin'
by Julie Murphy

With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin' is guaranteed to steal your heart. Willowdean, called "Dumplin'" by her former beauty queen mom, has always been at home in her own skin. But when she takes a job at a local fast-food joint and enters into a relationship with a hot former jock, Willowdean starts doubting herself—and her looks. So she sets out to take back her confidence by entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any skinny girl does.

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Dumplin'
Julie Murphy

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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
by Jennifer Ryan

The men are away fighting as the early days of World War II hit England, leaving the women of the Chilbury village to bond together. They defy the vicar's mandate to close the local choir and instead "carry on singing," resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. This novel is an enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death.

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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
Jennifer Ryan

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MENTIONED IN:

13 Feel-Good Novels You’re Going to Love

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The Friend
by Sigrid Nunez

This is the ideal feel-good novel for any dog lover. When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend, she finds herself saddled with the dog he left behind. Their mutual grief forges a bond between them—so much so that the woman refuses to be separated from the dog and becomes increasingly obsessed with its care. She comes dangerously close to unraveling, but rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.

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The Friend
Sigrid Nunez

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The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes
by Anna McPartlin

Rabbit has big plans for the world—but the world has other plans for Rabbit: a devastating diagnosis. As her friends and family rally to celebrate Rabbit's last days, they look to her for strength, support, and her unyielding zest for life. An exuberant novel full of happiness and heartbreak, THE LAST DAYS OF RABBIT HAYES is a story of laughing through life's surprises and finding the joy in every moment.

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The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes
Anna McPartlin

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MENTIONED IN:

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The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
by Edward Kelsey Moore

Dubbed "The Supremes" in the tumultuous 1960s, this diner in Plainview, Indiana, has served as a home for Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean as they counseled one another through marriage, children, and life's many unexpected surprises. But now they're about to face their most challenging year. With wit and style, Edward Kelsey Moore brings together three devoted allies in a warmhearted novel that celebrates female friendship and second chances.

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The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat
Edward Kelsey Moore

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MENTIONED IN:

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By the Book
by Julia Sonneborn

A book about books and a Jane Austen retelling—the jackpot! An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss. Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Austen’s PERSUASION explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past . . . and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

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By the Book
Julia Sonneborn

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