Category: Women’s Fiction

Fiercombe Manor

March 26, 2015 Fiction, Gothic, Historical Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 7 ★★★★

Fiercombe ManorTitle: Fiercombe Manor
Author: Kate Riordan
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: This well-executed dual narrative was beautifully atmospheric and kept my interest all the way through.

Although Lady Elizabeth Stanton of Fiercombe appears well at her first public appearance in years, she and her husband both still have secrets to hide, from the world and from each other. After the tragic events following the birth of her first child and several subsequent miscarriages, Lady Elizabeth is fearful that her current pregnancy will also end in tragedy or at least disappoint her husband, who longs for a boy.  Thirty years later, when Alice is sent to Fiercombe to hide the fact that she is pregnant and unmarried, she becomes obsessed with learning the what tragedy befell Lady Elizabeth. In the gloomy, confined atmosphere at Fiercombe, Alice fears that tragedy will find her as well. Read more »

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Books With Interesting Female Protagonists in Mini-Reviews

March 16, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Romance, Thriller, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★

Books With Interesting Female Protagonists in Mini-ReviewsTitle: A Small Indiscretion
Author: Jan Ellison
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

The main character of A Small Indiscretion is interesting in that she’s unlikeable, which seems to be the buzzword for female characters these days. Unfortunately, while I do want to see a diversity of both male and female characters, I don’t care if they’re unlikeable or not. What I want is for them to be understandable. Unlike Grace in Unbecoming, Annie has no explanatory backstory or clear motives driving her actions. This made her decisions, especially the ones I disagreed with or found stupid or selfish, hard to put up with. This book’s saving grace was that it did make me curious. As much as I wanted to shake Annie and ask her what she thought she was doing, I wanted to find out her whole story even more. It wasn’t my favorite read though and if you’re looking for an unlikeable or just different female protagonist, I think there are better books you could start with.

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Unbecoming

February 16, 2015 Fiction, Review, Thriller, Women's Fiction 20 ★★★★

UnbecomingTitle: Unbecoming
Author: Rebecca Scherm
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: A fascinating story which stars a complex, relatable female character and has a satisfying, slow buildup of  tension.

At Julie’s job restoring jewelry and knick-knacks, nothing is what it seems – including Julie. In fact, her name is actually Grace and she’s not from California as she claims. Instead she’s from the small town whose newspaper she checks every night, waiting to hear that two young men who went to jail for a crime Grace planned have been paroled. Once they are, she knows it’s just a matter of time until they come for her. What she doesn’t know is whether or not they’ve forgiven her betrayal. Read more »

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Review: First Frost

January 22, 2015 Fiction, Magical Realism, Review, Women's Fiction 14 ★★★

Review: First FrostTitle: First Frost
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

 

In First Frost, we revisit the Waverly family from Garden Spells. Claire has started a candy business she’s proud of, but can’t see that it’s also keeping her too busy to enjoy life. Her sister Sydney is also having trouble enjoying the happiness she has, instead desperately wanting a baby boy. And Sydney’s daugher Bay has lost her heart to a boy who doesn’t seem to know she exists. All three women hope that their troubles are simply part of the restlessness that afflicts Waverly women before the first frost of the year, but they’ll have to take matters into their own hands if they want to regain their happiness. Read more »

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5 Reasons Magical Realism is Awesome

January 20, 2015 Fiction, Magical Realism, Review, Women's Fiction 27 ★★★★★

5 Reasons Magical Realism is AwesomeTitle: Garden Spells
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Source: paperbackbookswap
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

 

I’ve only read two books by Sarah Addison Allen (this and Lost Lake), but I can already tell that I like her style. As with my first review, I should say that this book is tailor made for me. It has everything I love in a book and was the perfect light read for while I was (am!) busier than ever writing the first paper for my thesis. That said, this book will probably work best for you if you share my love of quirky characters, interconnected stories, and plots where everything works out neatly. SAA does all of these things well. She also does an exceptional job incorporating all of the things I love about magical realism in general, which include the following: Read more »

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Hello From the Gillespies

November 13, 2014 Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 12 ★★★

Hello From the GillespiesTitle: Hello From The Gillespies
Author: Monica McInerney
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: I loved the characters and the setup of this book, but the ending felt like simplistic wish-fulfillment.

Angela Gillespie has been sending out her annual Christmas letter for the last 33 years. Every year, she writes a cheery letter which highlights the best part of their lives until one year, she’s had enough. She writes the unvarnished truth, including her worries for each of her children and concerns about her marriage. Just when it seems Angela’s family might forgive her for the letter, an accident leaves her with amnesia and leaves her family to figure out how to fend for themselves without Angela worrying over them. Read more »

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The Missing Place

October 27, 2014 Fiction, Review, Thriller, Women's Fiction 10 ★★★★★

The Missing PlaceTitle: The Missing Place
Author: Sophie Littlefield
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: The plot and characters in this book felt fresh and new. I loved the raw emotions and difficult moral questions the author brought vividly to life.

“Twenty-year-old Taylor Jarvis and Paul Carroll go missing in Weir, North Dakota, where they have been working on rigs owned by Oasis Energy. The mothers of the two boys come to Weir to find out what happened to their sons and form an uneasy alliance. Shay Jarvis, a 41-year-old single [mother], has more grit than resources; for wealthy suburban housewife Colleen Carroll, the opposite is true. Overtaxed by worry, exhaustion, and fear, they question each other’s methods and motivations – but there is no one else to help, and they must learn to work together if they are to have any chance of breaking through the barriers put up by their sons’ employer, the indifference of an overtaxed police department, and a town of strangers with their own secrets against [the] backdrop of a modern day gold rush.” (slightly modified from here)
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The Silent Sister

October 18, 2014 Fiction, Review, Thriller, Women's Fiction 9 ★★★

The Silent SisterTitle: The Silent Sister
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was a fun, fast-paced read, but the mystery was a bit predictable and the I didn’t find the characters emotionally engaging.

Riley and her older brother grew up in a family shocked by their sister Lisa’s death. Riley has always been told Lisa committed suicide, but when her father dies twenty years later, she finds hints in his belongings suggesting that Lisa might still be alive. As she digs deeper, the secrets she discover will challenge everything she thought she knew about her family. Read more »

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Accidents of Marriage

September 30, 2014 Contemporary, Fiction, Review, Women's Fiction 9 ★★★

Accidents of MarriageTitle: Accidents of Marriage
Author: Randy Susan Meyers
Source: TLC Book Tours
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:three-stars

Summary: This was a gripping book, but more tense than emotionally moving, and I didn’t feel as though the main character had enough agency.

“Maddy is a social worker trying to balance her career and three children. Years ago, she fell in love with Ben, a public defender, drawn to his fiery passion, but now he’s lashing out at her during his periodic verbal furies. She vacillates between tiptoeing around him and asserting herself for the sake of their kids – which works to keep a fragile peace – until the rainy day when they’re together in the car and Ben’s volatile temper gets the best of him, leaving Maddy in the hospital fighting for her life.” (Source) Read more »

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Season of Storms

September 8, 2014 Fiction, Gothic, Magical Realism, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★★★

Season of StormsTitle: Season of Storms
Author: Susanna Kearsley
Source: from publisher for review
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:five-stars

Summary: A beautiful, atmospheric book with great characters, full of exciting romance and adventure.

Galeazzo D’Ascanio last play is known as his most brilliant, but it’s never been performed. Each attempt has been plagued by disaster, starting in the early 1900’s with the first performance when D’Ascanio’s muse and lover, Celia Sands, disappeared the night before she was to play the leading role. Decades later, a young actress named after Celia Sands is asked to take on the same role in the play being stated by D’Ascanio’s grandson. Both the mystery of the play and D’Ascanio’s handsome grandson intrigue Celia, but the relics of the play’s history may prove more dangerous than they first appear.
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