Summer days can be long, lazy and boring. This summer explore a new genre of betrayal novels while sipping on that smoothie. From Greek and Indian classics to chick literature here is a collection of best books on betrayal.

1. The Mahabharata by Ved Vyasa


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The classic tale of Hindu mythology is one of the best epic poem written by Ved Vyasa. It depicts betrayals of family, marriage, and brotherhood all for the sake of power and honor. The epic poem traces the life of the great clan of the Bharatas including tales from across the Indian subcontinent, the main focus being the disrobing of Draupadi in the court of  Kauravas.

2. Medea by Euripides


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Another classic, this time by the  Greek playwright Euripides shows the extent of human- and in extension Divine- ruthlessness and goriness. The play’s titular character kills her husband’s love interest and her children to take revenge on him. The play portrays betrayal of human values, motherly responsibility and many other types. This one -Greek tragedies in general- are not for those with a weak stomach.

3. Macbeth by William Shakespeare


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One of the most renowned plays by Sir William Shakespeare is a living breathing story of betrayals brought about by political ambitions. Set in Scotland with intrusions from the mystical creatures such as the three witches, the play is an interesting watch/ read to see how fate takes revenge for the betrayals done by Macbeth.

4. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare


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Another one of Sir Shakespeare’s classics whose name is synonymous to betrayal. It tells the true story of how Julius Caesar was betrayed by his friend and contemporary.

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5. Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin


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This book by Emily Griffin is a chick lit written in 2005. It is narrated from the point of view of the protagonist Rachel White who sleeps with her best friend’s fiance and develops feelings for her. The novel follows White as grapples with concepts of morals and friendship.

6. Shroud by John Banville


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Part of a trilogy written by John Banville in 2002 is a suspense thriller. The protagonist- Alan Vander’s-  identity is a site of an investigation by the leading lady character a literary researcher Cass Cleave who unearths his true identity.

7. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene


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Written by the master of betrayal fiction- Graham Greene, it was published in the year 1951 during World War II. Supposed to be inspired by Greene’s own affair with Lady Catherine Walston this is one of his best books on betrayal. Which follows the affair and the abrupt end of it between two of three main characters.

8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini


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The debut novel by Khaled Hosseini in the year 2005. The story follows the protagonist who is a wealthy merchant’s son Amir and his best friend who is his servant’s son- Hassan- from childhood to marriage and deals with themes of love, friendship and the betrayal which Amir deals out to Hassan and many other deceptions which come to light as the story progresses.

9. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré


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This book by John le Carré takes us through psychological complexities of a spy’s mind- a betrayer by profession. Written in 1963 the novel is based in the period of cold war. British spy Alec Leamas has to complete one last assignment before he is ‘brought in’ but in doing so he uncovers secrets which he did not expect.

10. The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison


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Written by A.S.A Harrison is a psychological thriller dealing with infidelity in marriage. The marriage is falling apart due to an affair of the husband Todd Gilbert but that is not the most horrifying betrayal which we see in this novel.

11. Sula by Toni Morrison


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Nobel prize winner, written by Toni Morrison in 1973. It is the tale of friendship of two girls- one black and one white, who meet as children and become best friends. The novel follows there life as one becomes a Pariah and other a supporter of black community they maintain their friendship through thick and thin until an unforgivable betrayal takes place. Will their friendship survive it?

12. After I’m Gone by Laura Lippman


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A suspense thriller by Laura Lippman. It is the story of 19-year-old ‘Bambi’ married to a well off Felix Brewer. Life is going good for Bambi who now has three daughters until Brewer facing prison vanishes. As the story enfolds what follows is a series of unbelievable revelation about five intriguing women by a detective hired

13. The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain


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Another suspense thriller published in 2014 follows the life of the protagonist Riley McPherson who discovers the truth about her sister. All her life she was told that her sister was dead but she discovers that she is alive and living under a changed identity.

14. A Beautiful, Terrible Thing by Jen Waite


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A memoir about marital infidelity, it was published in 2017. A woman discovers that she is built on an illusion. The book has alternating chapters depicting before and after she realizes that her husband is cheating on her, wherein she recollect every lie which was told to her.

15. Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller


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The debut novel of British writer Claire Fuller, published in 2015 won the Desmond Elliott Prize. An eight-year-old child is told by her survivalist father that everyone else except for them is dead. They live in the middle of the mood in very harsh conditions until one day she discovers a pair of boots and in searching for its owner to stumble back into civilization.

16. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins


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Published in 2015, this book is a psychological thriller which is told from the point of view of various unreliable narrators. For all those who enjoyed reading bestselling novel Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, they are in for a treat.

Hope you find a good read out of these!


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