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October 14, 2017

3 Books for Fans of Women's Fiction

by Susan Roberts

Women's fiction is defined as books from contemporary to historical, commercial to literary, with romance or without, as long as the story’s focus is on the main character’s emotional journey.  Another phrase that is sometimes used to describe these types of novels is 'chick lit'. Do you prefer one phrase over another?  Personally, I like Women's Fiction because I think it better describes the type of book you'll be reading.  Regardless of what you call the genre, there have been many good books in this category to read this year.  Here are a few tht I have recently read.

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Secrets of Worry Dolls by Amy Impellizzeri

Secrets of worry dolls
When Lu and Rae were about 6 years old, their mother gave them worry dolls. According to Guatemalan lore, each person should whisper their troubles to the dolls each night and the dolls would do all the worrying for them. Mari (the mother) had used her for many years and wanted to share this custom with her daughters. The dolls were a theme throughout the book as Lu and Mari tired to deal with the life that they faced.

As the book begins, a plane has crashed into their neighborhood and killed several people and when Lu returns home from the airport, she is unable to find her mother. Given the tragedy that this family endured on 9/11, it was terrible to think that they would face even more.

I don't want to say much about the plot because the book is so beautifully written, that you need to let the story unfold without any potential spoilers. The story is told in alternating chapters by Lu and Mari which is a wonderful way to give the reader a look at what is happening today (Lu's chapters) and the family history (Mari's chapters).

This is a wonderful book about mothers and daughters, family and how what happened in the past so greatly affects the present day in everyone's lives. I loved this novel and I think that Lu and Mari will be characters who I won't forget.

Buy Secrets of Worry Dolls at Amazon

The Season of Us by Holly Chamberlin

The season of us
This was my first book by Holly Chamberlain but it won't be my last. It's the perfect Christmas book about love and family and forgiveness and the ending will leave you with a smile.

Gincy couldn't wait to leave the small town of Appleville and her family. Her mother was always critical of her and her brother was the favorite child. Twenty years later, she is living in Boston with a wonderful job and a perfect family (maybe too perfect, which did bother me at times as I was reading the book). Her dad had died six months earlier and her brother (a real loser according to Gincy) called to say that there was something wrong with their mom. So Gincy and her daughter head back to Appleville (very reluctantly on Gincy's part) to make everything right again.

The novel answers the question of whether you can go home again and if you will find that your memories of your upbringing are real or are part of your misinterpretations of the intentions of your family.

Great Christmas - or any time of the year - book!

Buy The Season of Us at Amazon

The Year of Needy Girls by Patricia A. Smith

The year of needy girls
The Year of Needy Girls is a novel about bigotry in a small town.

After a young boy is kidnapped, raped and killed at the beginning of the book, the idyllic life that the townspeople of Bradley, MA, think they live comes to an end. The death of the boy is a thread throughout the book but there is so much more. SJ, a librarian, and her partner Deirdre, a teacher at a small private school, have just moved into their first house together. At first, they appear very happy together but their lives begin to fall apart. SJ starts to teach a young man how to read even though her partner thought that he was pretty creepy and he is being accused of being the killer of the young boy. Deirdre, a French teacher who always puts the concern of her students first, is accused of trying to molest one of the girls. As the town takes sides, the bigotry that was just below the surface becomes very apparent and sides are taken.

The characters are very well drawn - SJ and Deirdre are very well rounded, with their flaws apparent throughout the story. The rest of the town leaders and the girls at the high school are people that we all know and read about every day!

I thought that this was a very well done, very readable book that definitely gives the reader a lot to think about throughout and after the story is done.

Buy The Year of Needy Girls at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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  1. I haven't heard of any of these, I'll have to check them out! :)