A dad gets struck by lightning; a baby turns up in a boat; one twin goes to prison while the other wins a Senate seat.

Updated November 07, 2013 05:30 PM
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A dad gets struck by lightning; a baby turns up in a boat; one twin goes to prison while the other wins a Senate seat. Maybe not what happens at your house, but there’s plenty everyone can relate to in the family stories our staffers are engrossed in.

Tell us what you think of our choices – and let us know what you’re reading.

Jill Smolowe, Senior Writer

Her Pick: Man Alive! by Mary Kay Zuravleff

When Dr. Owen Lerner is struck by lightning, his fried synapses are just the beginning of the damage. Zuravleff mines the Lerner family s subsequent unraveling with impressive intelligence and sly humor. The best part? Her depiction of three teenage sibs who, despite the family chaos, continue to adore their parents – and each other. It’s refreshing to encounter a sibling dynamic where rivalry isn’t the only name of the game.

Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor

Her Pick: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

Struggling with infertility, a couple working as lighthouse caretakers off the coast of Australia feel their prayers have been answered when a boat carrying a baby comes ashore after a storm. But of course, things are much more complicated than that. The book has a lovely, gentle beginning but packs a surprising punch – the characters are so well-drawn that your heart is in your throat as the story goes on. It’s a book about family, love, hope and so much more.

Lynn Ruane, Advertising Sales Manager

Her Pick: Identical by Scott Turow

Set in the familiar confines of Turow s Kindle County, his latest novel explores the intersection of the law, political ambition, and family ties, this time within a tight-knit community of Greek Americans. Convicted of murdering his girlfriend, Cass Gianis has completed a 25-year prison term. His identical twin Paul, meanwhile, is a prosecutor and state senator well on his way to becoming mayor – but did he play more of a role in the crime than originally thought? Identical has kept me up well past my bedtime every night this week!

Check back every Thursday for another round of staff picks, and see more book reviews each week in PEOPLE magazine, on newsstands now. Plus, check out last week’s true storiesand more great book finds here.