The purpose of this thesis is to examine how ?family? is represented in the contemporary realist novel of the Maritimes. Due to its limitation in length, the thesis cannot provide a comprehensive analysis, but will give a focused exploration of ?family? with regard to two important texts: Alistair MacLeod's No Great Mischief and Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall On Your Knees. The theoretical part of this thesis gives a brief insight into the literary theory applied and then moves on to socio-economic developments of the region, which are crucial for the development of its literature. In the following analysis, ?family? in the two novels chosen will be examined from three angles. First, it will be explored from a demographic perspective, arguing that the representation of family in the contemporary realist Maritime novel mirrors major demographic shifts in Atlantic Canada, and functions as fictional documentation of historical changes in the Maritime family. The second angle focuses on more general aspects of family in the novels, whereas the third looks closely at individuals in the families depicted, and their relationships towards each other. My research concludes that ?family? in the representative contemporary Maritime realist novels chosen is portrayed in a highly complex way. Although No Great Mischief and Fall On Your Knees share basic constituents of family life such as the significance of blood-relations, trauma, language and story-telling, these components often have a completely different function within the families depicted. In addition, each of the novels also contributes a different focus on ?family?, as Fall On Your Knees explores the detrimental role of patriarchal structures, whereas No Great Mischief illustrates the significance of collective family memory for identity construction.