Posts Tagged Women’s Fiction
Heart Spring Mountain: A Novel
by Robin MacArthur
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Fiction/Saga
In this evocative first novel, a young woman returns to her rural Vermont hometown in the wake of a devastating storm to search for her missing mother and unravel a powerful family secret
It’s August 2011, and Tropical Storm Irene has just wreaked havoc on Vermont, flooding rivers and destroying homes. One thousand miles away—while tending bar in New Orleans—Vale receives a call and is told that her mother, Bonnie, has disappeared. Despite a years-long estrangement from Bonnie, Vale drops everything and returns home to look for her.
Though the hometown Vale comes back to is not the one she left eight years earlier, she finds herself falling back into the lives of the family she thought she’d long since left behind. As Vale begins her search, the narrative opens up and pitches back and forth in time to follow three generations of women—a farming widow, a back-to-the-land dreamer, and an owl-loving hermit—as they seek love, bear children, and absorb losses. All the while, Vale’s search has her unwittingly careening toward a family origin secret more stunning than she ever imagined.
Written with a striking sense of place, Heart Spring Mountain is an arresting novel about returning home, finding hope in the dark, and of the power of the land—and the stories it harbors—to connect and to heal. It’s also an absorbing exploration of the small fractures that can make families break-and the lasting ties that bind them together.
1.13 at time of posting!
Left: A Novel
by Tamar Ossowski
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary/Sisters/Special Needs
Therese Wolley is a mother who has made a promise. She works as a secretary, shops for groceries on Saturdays, and takes care of her two girls. She doesn’t dwell on the fact that her girls are fatherless, mostly because her own father abandoned her before she was born and she has done just fine without him.
Even though her older daughter regularly wakes with nightmares and her younger one whispers letters under her breath, she doesn’t shift from her resolve that everything will be fine. She promises . . . and they believe.
Until the morning an obituary in the newspaper changes everything. Therese immediately knows what she has to do. She cannot delay what she has planned, and she cannot find the words to explain her heartbreaking decision to her daughters. She considers her responsibilities, her girls, and her promise. Then she does the only thing that any real mother would do. She goes on the run with one daughter . . . and abandons the other.
Left is told from the perspectives of Franny, the autistic sister who is left behind; Matilda, the troubled older sister who vows to go back and save her; and Therese, a mother on the run.
1.99 at time of posting!
The Mother: A Novel
by Yvette Edwards
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Family Life
The unimaginable has happened to Marcia Williams. Her bright and beautiful sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, has been brutally murdered. Consumed by grief and rage, she must bridle her dark feelings and endure something no mother should ever have to experience: she must go to court for the trial of the killer—another teenage boy—accused of taking her son’s life.
How could her son be dead? Ryan should have been safe—he wasn’t the kind of boy to find himself on the wrong end of a knife carried by a dangerous young man like Tyson Manley. But as the trial proceeds, Marcia finds her beliefs and assumptions challenged as she learns more about Ryan’s death and Tyson’s life, including his dysfunctional family. She also discovers troubling truths about her own. As the strain of Ryan’s death tests their marriage, Lloydie, her husband, pulls farther away, hiding behind a wall of secrets that masks his grief, while Marcia draws closer to her sister, who is becoming her prime confidant.
One person seems to hold the answers—and the hope—Marcia needs, Tyson’s scared young girlfriend, Sweetie. But as this anguished mother has learned, nothing in life is certain. Not anymore.
Exhibit Alexandra: A Novel
by Natasha Bell
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Psychological Thriller
He thought he knew everything about her until she went missing.
Before she disappeared, Alexandra Southwood lived an average, happy life: devoted to her wonderful husband, Marc, and caring for her two beautiful daughters. But now, held in a room against her will, Alexandra is forced to think about all she’s lost and imagine how Marc and her daughters are coping in the wake of her disappearance. She’s shown news clips of Marc, desperately appealing to the public for information on her whereabouts. She tortures herself with visions of her family’s devastated new reality. And as she envisions Marc’s distress, she can’t help but remember their courtship, their marriage—all that he saved her from and all that they’ve built together.
Marc’s pain is visceral. He thinks of nothing but her. Even when the police discover Alexandra’s bloody belongings by the river, turning their missing-persons case into a murder investigation, he cannot accept that she is lost to him. He shifts from total despair to frantic action, embarking on his own journey through the dark maze of secrets she kept and passions he never understood. Following a trail that leads him to find answers to questions he never meant to ask, he’s forced to confront how frighteningly little he’s grasped about the woman he loves.
The French Girl
by Lexie Elliott
This exhilarating debut follows six college students as they embark on a summer getaway to a farmhouse. Everything goes well until they meet Severine, the girl next door. Kate Channing, one of the students, finds Severine to be a nuisance. One thing leads to another, and there is a huge altercation between them. No one sees Severine again until a decade later when her body is found in a well behind the farmhouse. Kate is a major suspect in the case and stands to lose everything unless she can prove that it wasn’t her – and time is ticking.
I love complex characters. I enjoy foreshadowing and dark humor in humorless situations. I look for plots that begin in a large, knotted and tangled mass which seems impenetrable from any approach.
And I found all the above in Bliss: A Novel by Gabrielle Pina.
Teenager Claudine Tilbo feels disconnected from her parents and twin brother. She’s taunted and ridiculed by everyone—including her family—because of her weight. And though she uses the weight to hide and insulate herself, Claudine has a gift she doesn’t hide… she is a talented violinist.
Claudine’s gift should be cause for accolades and celebration, but it too brings bullying and ridicule. From Bone, her twin brother who is as small in stature as Claudine is large; from Willamina, her passive/aggressive, alcoholic mother who can’t seem to look Claudine in the eye; and Claudine’s father—the Deacon—a cold-hearted manipulative man using the church for his own personal gain… financial and physical.
The only person who sees the greatness is her mother’s sister, Hattie Mae Jones.
It’s Hattie Mae to buys the violin for Claudine, pays the tuition for private school and lessons, and owns the upscale duplex which she shares with Claudine’s family.
For reasons not known at first, Hattie Mae is a force to be reckoned with. No one in the town… or Tilbo family… crosses the statuesque beauty. Her connections and resources are limitless. The former prison inmate has a reputation for doing whatever it takes to achieve her goal.
It’s that reputation and Hattie Mae’s dogged determination which drive Bliss.
The author does a wonderful job of juxtaposing the lives of the women of Bliss while unraveling the lies, deceit, and treachery at its heart. The similarities in each woman’s decisions almost feel genetic. Defying common sense advice, each makes decisions which lead into the traps of life they were warned about.
We see what shaped the women’s personalities and how they came to be in their situations. Even when they make the wrong decisions, the reader understands why. Everything is a means to an end even if it’s only temporary.
The relationship between Claudine and Hattie Mae is complex and frustrating. Hattie Mae has one goal in life—to get Claudine away from the small, backwater town and on to the stage as a premier violinist. When a traumatic event changes the course of Claudine’s life, Hattie Mae does not give up… she bides her time… because she must. Giving up is not an option. Only by giving Claudine the career and life she deserves can Hattie Mae free herself from her own personal hell… a lifetime of being controlled by a caustic, powerful man intent on keeping Hattie Mae close.
Hattie Mae Jones—WOW!—by far, the strongest female character I’ve ever read, yet even she has breaking points. She keeps everything close to the vest, but her pain cannot stay hidden. Hattie Mae doesn’t wallow in self-pity though, nor does she waste time and energy on sentiments like love. Betrayed by the first man she loved, and then by a man she wanted nothing to do with, her heart is cold and closed, with only enough room for Claudine. However, Hattie Mae still doesn’t show affection with words, but by the things she does to free them both.
Claudine marries a man who Hattie Mae knows will only hold her back and keep her beaten down. Getting rid of the husband becomes priority number one for her as well as the low-life father searching for a way to profit from the situation. (The men in this story…whew! Get ready to bring the man-hate!)
All this, plus a startling admission by Hattie Mae, turns the women’s relationship contemptuous. It is only when Claudine witnesses the lengths Hattie Mae will go to protect her, does she get a sense of clarity and begin to fight back for herself. Claudine will go through a transformation to achieve her goals but the lies and deceit do not end.
I haven’t read a story about women with this much strength of character and determination since The Color Purple. It’s telling though that when pushed, each woman will defy the one person who only wants the best for them. Hattie Mae will defy Gracian—her mother, Claudine will defy Hattie Mae, and when the truth, at last, comes to the light, Claudine’s own daughter will hold her accountable… and walk away.
This is a great read!
This was the first book I’ve read by this author, and I could only find one other title—I’ve ordered a print copy—but she is an amazing storyteller who I hope will write more.
I read this book on the last day of 2017—it’s been on my Kindle for over a year—but great writing, great pacing and incredible plot twists easily make this my favorite read of the year.
I give Bliss: A Novel my highest recommendation!
“Sometimes a lie is the best thing.”
Francesca Valentine is a successful, beautiful, world-renowned violinist. But when her perfect life is shattered, she must confess to a history of carefully calculated deception.
Claudine Jenkins was a musical prodigy who clung to her one true love—a violin given to her by her aunt Hattie Mae. Claudine grew up protecting herself from the tauntings of her father and her twin brother by eating herself into obesity. Her mother was an alcoholic who was indifferent to her, at best. But all that would soon change.
Feared by most, yet adored for her exotic beauty, Hattie Mae Jones remained a mystery even to those who thought they knew her best. But when her dark past threatened to destroy her perfectly laid plans for the future, she became determined to have her way. Would she have gone as far as committing murder?
What happens when three generations of lies come to the surface? Power, deceit, greed, and lust collide—leaving you with sheer Bliss.
Genre: Women’s Fiction/African American/Psychological
Release date: September 30, 2008
“Sarah (Rare Women Series Book 1)”
by Yarro Rai
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Literary
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Hope is how this book can be defined.
The story of a naive Sarah growing up in a post-Taliban era in Afghanistan. Her exposure to the only television in the village through her best friend Shakip opens the window to the endless imagination and hard impression of western women riding bikes and kicking asses.
Obsessed by the kick-ass heroine, she grows up dreaming of joining Hollywood and conquering it with her wits. However, there is a war going on, and the rebel inside her pushes her to join the commander pigeon squad the only women warlord in the country to fight against the lurking Taliban. The very decision of her bravery contains her in her own paradox.
One side there is a big dream of going Hollywood and being an inspiration the other is to stay in her godforsaken place. To fight the good fight and die unknown. She was always supposed to be the hero of her journey, but she can choose only one to be a hero in reel life or in real life.
The RARE GIRL SERIES is the reflection of that voice. Every book in the series will be about a Girl/women with rare quality. No unnecessary sexualized female character, no carrying on the image of main-stream media, but real ground reality story of women in all the corners of the world with a pinch of imagination on it. The first book of the series SARAH was published in October 2017 with the second book due in 2018.
Rai is also the creator of http://allforauthors.com/ a website for struggling authors. The website contains writing contracts, free critiques and financial aids for upcoming authors.
There is only one weird thing about him–he likes to act out his character to record the reaction from his friend and strangers. So, if someday you meet him for a book signing and he is acting weird just know that he is expecting a weird reaction from you. He is not insane.