20 best books on friends moving away – 2023 reading list & recommendations

Are you feeling the sting of a friend moving away? Saying goodbye to a close companion can be tough, but finding solace in a good book can help ease the pain. Whether you’re looking for stories that capture the bittersweetness of farewells or seeking advice on how to cope with the distance, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore the 20 best books about friends moving away. From heartwarming tales of lifelong friendships to practical guides on staying connected, these books will remind you that even when friends are far away, their impact can still be felt.

The Great Alone

by Kristin Hannah

Are you ready to embark on an emotional rollercoaster through the pages of a breathtaking novel? Look no further than The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. This remarkable book explores the heart-wrenching journey of a family in search of solace, set against the backdrop of the majestic Alaskan wilderness.

At its core, The Great Alone is a tale of resilience, love, and the indomitable human spirit. It follows the Allbright family as they make the bold decision to leave behind their familiar life in Seattle, seeking a fresh start in Alaska. The untamed beauty of the Last Frontier promises an escape from their troubled past.

As they settle into their new home, Leni, the teenage daughter, discovers an unexpected friendship that blossoms amidst the isolation and harsh realities of their new environment. The bond she forms with Matthew, a fellow misfit, becomes their lifeline in the face of the challenges that lie ahead.

However, the Alaskan wilderness can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful. The long, dark winters and the constant battle for survival take a toll on the Allbright family, pushing them to their limits. Leni’s coming-of-age story is intertwined with her parents’ tumultuous relationship, testing their love and strength in unimaginable ways.

In The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah masterfully weaves together themes of friendship, loss, and the power of nature, painting a vivid picture of Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes. Her prose is both evocative and poignant, making you feel every triumph and heartbreak as if it were your own.

If you’re yearning for a book that delves deep into the complexities of human relationships and the resilience of the human spirit, then The Great Alone is the perfect choice. Prepare to be captivated from the first page to the last, as you immerse yourself in a world where friendship becomes a lifeline, and the wilderness becomes a character in itself.

The Immortalists

by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists is an extraordinary tale that follows the lives of four siblings who seek out a mysterious fortune teller in their youth. This captivating book takes readers on a captivating journey as they navigate through love, loss, and the complex bond of family. Set against the backdrop of 1960s New York City, the story explores the profound impact that the knowledge of one’s own mortality can have on the choices we make and the paths we ultimately take. With its richly drawn characters and thought-provoking themes, The Immortalists is a captivating and poignant exploration of the human condition.

The Leavers

by Lisa Ko

Are you familiar with the feeling of your closest companions suddenly disappearing from your life? If so, “The Leavers” by Lisa Ko is a must-read for you. This captivating novel delves into the emotional journey of a young boy named Deming Guo, whose life is turned upside down when his best friend, Zaira, mysteriously vanishes. Set against the backdrop of their vibrant and diverse neighborhood, this book is more than just a story about friends moving away; it is a poignant exploration of loss, identity, and the search for belonging. Ko’s lyrical prose and intricate storytelling will surely leave you captivated from start to finish, as you uncover the secrets behind Zaira’s departure and witness Deming’s desperate quest to fill the void left by his missing friend. So, if you’re in the mood for a heart-rending and beautifully written tale about the complexities of friendship and the impact of separation, look no further than “The Leavers.” Prepare to be moved, inspired, and reminded of the profound impact that friends moving away can have on our lives.

The Light We Lost

by Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo is an emotionally charged novel that explores the bittersweet journey of two individuals whose lives intersect at a pivotal moment. This poignant tale follows Lucy and Gabe, two young individuals who meet as college students on September 11, 2001. As they navigate the tumultuous years that follow, their connection deepens and they become inseparable friends. However, fate has other plans, and their paths diverge, leading to a heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and the complexities of life.

The Girls in the Garden

by Lisa Jewell

Are you searching for a compelling story about the bittersweet experience of friends moving away? Look no further than Lisa Jewell’s riveting novel, The Girls in the Garden. This mesmerizing tale delves deep into the intricate dynamics of friendship, unraveling the complexities that arise when bonds are tested by distance and change.

In this atmospheric narrative, Jewell transports us to a picturesque London neighborhood, where a tight-knit community finds solace and camaraderie within the confines of a communal garden. The idyllic setting soon becomes a microcosm of the larger world, as the lives of the residents intertwine, friendships are formed, and secrets begin to simmer beneath the surface.

Amidst the lush greenery, we meet a group of young girls who are inseparable in their shared joys and sorrows. However, when one of them suddenly vanishes without a trace, the bonds of friendship are tested like never before. As the investigation unfolds, the once unbreakable friendships start to crumble, leaving behind a trail of suspicion, betrayal, and heartache.

Jewell expertly weaves together multiple perspectives, peeling back the layers of each character’s motivations and desires. With the precision of a surgeon, she dissects the intricacies of human relationships, exploring the delicate balance between trust and doubt, loyalty and self-preservation.

Steeped in mystery and psychological tension, The Girls in the Garden is a captivating exploration of the profound impact that friends moving away can have on our lives. Through Jewell’s masterful storytelling, we are reminded that the bonds we forge in our youth are not always meant to last forever, and that sometimes, the most profound growth and self-discovery can emerge from the ashes of a broken friendship.

If you’re seeking a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant read, don’t miss out on this mesmerizing tale of friendship, loss, and the power of letting go. Lisa Jewell’s The Girls in the Garden is an unforgettable journey that will leave you pondering long after the last page is turned.

The Nest

by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney is a heartwarming and bittersweet tale about the challenges and joys of friendship and family. This captivating novel explores the lives of four siblings who are eagerly awaiting their inheritance, called ‘The Nest,’ which they hope will solve their individual financial struggles. However, when a sudden accident jeopardizes their anticipated windfall, their once tight-knit bond begins to unravel. Set against the backdrop of New York City, this book delves into the complexities of love, betrayal, and the enduring power of forgiveness. With its relatable characters and compelling storyline, The Nest is a must-read for anyone who has experienced the heartache and resilience that comes with friends moving away.

The Versions of Us

by Laura Barnett

The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett is a captivating book that explores the multiple paths our lives could take. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure story, but with a twist. Instead of just one main character, we follow the lives of two friends, Eva and Jim, and see how their choices and circumstances shape their futures.

This book is not just a simple tale of friends moving away, it’s a rich and thought-provoking exploration of the different versions of ourselves that exist within us. Through three different storylines, Barnett takes us on a journey through love, loss, and the complexities of life.

Each version of Eva and Jim’s lives is beautifully crafted, with its own joys and challenges. We see how their choices impact not only their own lives but also the lives of those around them. It’s a reminder that our decisions have far-reaching consequences, and that even the smallest choice can alter the course of our lives.

Barnett’s writing is exquisite, drawing us into the lives of these characters and making us feel deeply invested in their happiness. The way she weaves together the different storylines is masterful, creating a seamless narrative that keeps us guessing until the very end.

So if you’re looking for a book about friends moving away, The Versions of Us is so much more than that. It’s a book about the intertwined nature of our lives, the power of choice, and the infinite possibilities that lie before us.

The Nightingale

by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale: A Captivating Tale of Friendship and Loss

Are you ready to embark on a remarkable journey through the pages of a book that will leave you breathless? Look no further than The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. This gripping tale will take you on an emotional rollercoaster as it explores the profound bond between two friends facing the heart-wrenching reality of separation.

Set against the backdrop of World War II, this novel delves into the lives of Vianne and Isabelle, two sisters who couldn’t be more different. Vianne, a devoted wife and mother, finds herself torn apart from her husband when he is sent to fight on the front lines. Meanwhile, Isabelle, rebellious and fiercely independent, joins the French Resistance, determined to fight for her country’s freedom.

As the war rages on, Vianne and Isabelle’s paths diverge, forcing them to confront their own fears, strengths, and weaknesses. The Nightingale masterfully depicts the sacrifices they make, the risks they take, and the unimaginable hardships they endure. Through their struggles, the power of friendship shines brightly, reminding us of the indomitable spirit that can arise during times of adversity.

Hannah’s exquisite storytelling transports readers to occupied France, immersing them in a world of danger, courage, and resilience. With every turn of the page, you will find yourself drawn deeper into the lives of these extraordinary women, sharing their triumphs and tragedies.

Don’t miss out on this captivating novel that explores the complexities of friendship, love, and the human spirit. Grab a copy of The Nightingale and prepare to be moved, inspired, and forever changed.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry

by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a delightful tale that will transport you into the world of books, friendship, and the bittersweet moments of life. This heartwarming story revolves around A.J. Fikry, a grumpy bookstore owner on a secluded island, and how his life takes an unexpected turn when a mysterious package arrives at his door.

As A.J. grapples with the loss of his beloved wife and the dwindling success of his bookstore, he finds solace in the pages of books and the company of his loyal friend, Amelia. However, just when he starts to settle into his routine, fate intervenes in the form of a stolen rare edition and a baby left behind in his store.

With the arrival of the baby, A.J.’s life is forever changed. As he navigates the challenges of single parenthood, he discovers the transformative power of love, friendship, and the magic of storytelling. Through his interactions with the quirky residents of the island and the newfound joy of fatherhood, A.J. learns that sometimes the most unexpected people can become our greatest allies.

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry is a book that will make you laugh, cry, and reflect on the power of human connection. It reminds us that even in the face of loss and adversity, there is always hope and the possibility for new beginnings. So, embark on this literary journey and let A.J.’s story remind you of the beauty and resilience of the human spirit.

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project is a heartwarming and hilarious story about a brilliant yet socially awkward professor named Don Tillman. This delightful novel explores the ups and downs of friendship and love, making it the perfect book for those in need of a pick-me-up. Set in Melbourne, Australia, Don embarks on a quest to find the perfect partner through a complex questionnaire known as “The Wife Project.” However, his plans take an unexpected turn when he meets Rosie, a spontaneous and free-spirited woman who enlists his help in finding her biological father. As they embark on this adventure together, Don’s structured world is turned upside down, teaching him valuable lessons about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of friendship. Whether you’re looking for a book about friends moving away or simply a heartwarming tale, The Rosie Project is sure to leave you with a smile on your face and a warm feeling in your heart.

The Fault in Our Stars

by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green is a heart-wrenching tale about two teenagers who find love and solace in each other’s company while facing the harsh reality of living with terminal illness. This poignant novel explores the deeply emotional and often unpredictable journey of Hazel and Augustus, as they navigate the challenges of life, love, and the inevitable goodbye. With its raw honesty and beautifully crafted characters, this book on companionship in the face of adversity will leave you breathless and longing for more.

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a captivating book about friends moving away that will take you on an unforgettable journey through the complexities of life, love, and the power of art.

The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh is a captivating tale that delves into the bittersweet realm of friendship and loss. This enchanting novel explores the intricate language of flowers and how it can heal the wounds left by friends departing.

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a captivating novel that delves into the lives of three women in the racially divided 1960s Mississippi. Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement, this powerful book explores the struggles and triumphs of friendship, resilience, and the fight for justice.

In this heartwarming story, we meet Skeeter, a young aspiring writer who returns to her hometown after college, only to find her childhood friends moving away one by one. Faced with the loneliness that comes with friends moving away, Skeeter decides to embark on a courageous journey.

Driven by her desire to tell the untold stories of African-American maids working in white households, Skeeter forms an unlikely alliance with two maids, Aibileen and Minny. Together, they create a secret project that will challenge the norms of society and give a voice to those who have been silenced for far too long.

The Help beautifully captures the complexities of friendship, as the three women navigate through their own personal struggles while fighting against racial inequality. Stockett’s vivid storytelling and compelling characters will keep you engrossed from beginning to end.

This remarkable book about friends moving away is a poignant reminder of the power of friendship, the importance of standing up for what is right, and the impact that a few brave souls can have on an entire community. Prepare to be moved, inspired, and forever changed by The Help.

The Secret Life of Bees

by Sue Monk Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd is a captivating tale of friendship and self-discovery. Set in the 1960s, this heartwarming novel follows the journey of fourteen-year-old Lily Owens as she navigates the complexities of life after her closest confidant, her mother, passes away. Desperate for love and belonging, Lily finds solace in the company of a remarkable trio of women who become the family she never had. Together, they embark on a transformative adventure filled with beekeeping, secrets, and the healing power of friendship. This moving story explores themes of loss, forgiveness, and the profound impact that true friends can have on our lives. Whether you’re searching for a book about friends moving away or simply craving a tale that will tug at your heartstrings, The Secret Life of Bees is a must-read.

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini is an emotionally gripping tale that explores the bond between two inseparable childhood companions and the devastating consequences of their separation. This heart-wrenching novel delves into the deep wounds left behind when friends are torn apart, revealing the lasting impact of betrayal and the power of redemption.

The Time Traveler’s Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s Wife is an extraordinary tale that will sweep you off your feet and take you on an unforgettable journey. This mesmerizing novel is not just a book on friends moving away, but a unique love story that transcends time and space.

The Lovely Bones

by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold is a heart-wrenching novel that delves into the profound impact of losing a loved one and the struggle to find closure. This hauntingly beautiful book explores the aftermath of a young girl’s murder and the ripple effect it has on her family, friends, and community.

Set in the 1970s, the story follows Susie Salmon, a bright and spirited fourteen-year-old who is brutally taken from her family and friends. From her new vantage point in heaven, Susie watches over those she left behind, observing their lives as they continue to unfold. As time passes, she witnesses the grief, guilt, and ultimately the healing process of her loved ones.

The Lovely Bones is not simply a book about friends moving away, but rather a profound exploration of friendship, loss, and the resilience of the human spirit. Sebold’s lyrical prose captures the raw emotions of each character, making them come alive on the page. Through Susie’s unique perspective, the reader is invited to reflect on the fragility of life and the importance of cherishing the connections we have with others.

This friends moving away book is a poignant reminder that even in the face of tragedy, love and hope can prevail. It is a powerful testament to the enduring bonds of friendship and the strength we can find within ourselves to overcome the most harrowing of circumstances. The Lovely Bones is a deeply moving and unforgettable novel that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

The Catcher in the Rye

by J.D. Salinger

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable literary journey? Well, get ready to dive into the captivating world of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, a mesmerizing tale that explores the profound impact of friends drifting apart. This timeless classic delves deep into the heart of adolescence, following the rebellious and introspective protagonist, Holden Caulfield.

Holden, a disenchanted young man, finds himself caught in the unsettling reality of growing up. Faced with the inevitable changes that come with adulthood, he grapples with the bittersweet feeling of friends moving away. Throughout the novel, you’ll witness Holden’s poignant encounters with various characters, each one leaving an indelible mark on his restless soul.

As Holden navigates the vibrant streets of New York City, you’ll join him in his quest for authenticity, his yearning for genuine connections, and his struggle to accept the inevitability of friends drifting apart. With Salinger’s masterful prose, you’ll be transported to a world where emotions run raw, where the pain of separation and the longing for companionship resonate deeply within your own heart.

The Catcher in the Rye is more than just a book about friends moving away; it’s a profound exploration of the human condition, a poignant reminder of the transient nature of relationships, and a testament to the transformative power of self-discovery. So, immerse yourself in this literary masterpiece and let Holden Caulfield’s journey captivate your soul.

The Outsiders

by S.E. Hinton

Are you ready to dive into an epic tale of camaraderie, loyalty, and the trials of growing up? Look no further than The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. This breathtaking coming-of-age novel takes you on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of a group of inseparable buddies who find themselves grappling with the harsh realities of a world that seems determined to tear them apart.

Set in the 1960s, The Outsiders paints a vivid portrait of two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs, who constantly clash in their struggle for dominance. Ponyboy Curtis, the story’s protagonist, is just an ordinary teenage boy trying to navigate the complexities of adolescence. But when tragedy strikes and Ponyboy’s world is turned upside down, he must confront the harsh realities of life and find his place in a society that judges him solely based on his social status.

As Ponyboy grapples with his own identity and the ever-looming threat of violence, he learns the true value of friendship and the power it holds to shape one’s destiny. Alongside his loyal gang of misfit buddies, Ponyboy embarks on a journey that will test the limits of his courage and force him to confront the harsh truths of the world he lives in.

With its powerful themes of friendship, loyalty, and the struggle to find one’s place in the world, The Outsiders is a timeless classic that will resonate with readers of all ages. So grab a copy, buckle up, and join Ponyboy and his gang as they navigate the rocky road of adolescence and discover the true meaning of friendship.


In conclusion, these 20 books about friends moving away beautifully capture the bittersweet emotions that come with saying goodbye to a beloved friend. Whether you are a child or an adult, these stories will tug at your heartstrings and remind you of the special bond that friendship creates. From heartwarming tales of resilience and new beginnings to poignant narratives about the power of lasting connections, these books offer comfort and solace during times of separation. So grab a book, curl up with a warm blanket, and allow yourself to be transported into the world of friendships that transcend distance.