The particular relevance of family in human life and experience, which is addressed in family novels, is also evident in sociological studies. In what way can these views complement each other? The text is meant as a contribution to discuss this question, starting by presenting some statistical data on the contemporary diversity of individual and collective family behaviors. They are summarized in five theses focusing on an elaborated, open understanding of human generativity, i.e. the individual and the institutional shaping of generational relationships. These generalizations allow to build a bridge to studies on the family novel. I postulate that the commonalities of family sociology and family novel can be seen in the critical dealing with notions of normality, the tense shaping of social relationships, and – consequentially – the dynamic search for personal and collective identities. These processes go hand in hand with experiences of ambivalence and practices to cope with them.