Women's Fiction

B+
The Mother's Promise

Last year, I discovered the writing of Sally Hepworth. I adored her novel The Things We Keep, so I was over the moon to learn she had a new book coming out. I was sure I was in for a very intense read, full of emotional depth and characters I could totally relate to, and that's exactly what she has ...

D+
The Dressmaker's Dowry: A Novel

After years of working for a high-class fashion magazine, Sarah Havensworth has quit to begin writing a historical novel about life on the Barbary Coast.  Forever conscious of her lower-middle class beginnings, she hopes that it will win her the respect of her husband’s upper-crust family– and ...

A-
On Second Thought

In On Second Thought Kristan Higgins returns to the fictional town of Cambry-on-Hudson, the setting of her recent book If You Only Knew, to tell the story of two half-sisters. I tend to shy away from women’s fiction, preferring more traditional romances, and was nervous when I learned this book le ...

D
This Is Not Over

I'm not sure what it says about me, but I've always loved books centered around revenge. For this reason, Holly Brown's latest novel This Is Not Over seemed like something that would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, it left me feeling completely flat. Dawn and her husband enjoy weekend getawa ...

A
The Wicked City

The Wicked City is a delicious puzzle box of a book with handsome writing that gives a new look to stories set in the Jazz Age. Switching between 1920s New York and  contemporary times, the book is peopled by a witty irreverent flapper, a tough Prohibition agent, a young innocent Princeton student, ...

D+
Solo

Jill Mansell's books have been reliable, comfort read for me for years, so I’ve been delighted that many of her older, hard to find books are being released as e-books. Sadly, however, Solo – originally a 1991 release – didn’t work for me. While I liked parts here and there, overall I despis ...

A
Five Quarters of the Orange

When Mirabelle Dartigen dies, she leaves her land to her son, and her older daughter gets a very valuable wine collection. Her younger daughter, Framboise, inherits a scrapbook - a stitched-together collection of recipes and scribbled reminiscences. None of the children see anything odd about thi ...

C
The Long Hot Summer

The Long Hot Summer is the second novel by Kathleen MacMahon, a television journalist from Ireland. It's a beautifully written story, which proves to be both a blessing and a curse. Her prose is incredibly lush, and her powers of description are unlike anything I've encountered in quite some time. U ...

C+
The Confectioner's Tale

Paris is one of my favorite cities to visit, so when I learned that the historical portions of The Confectioner’s Tale are set in Paris in 1910 it seemed a perfect book for me to review. I was intrigued to learn that the “contemporary” portion is set in 1988 – mostly in Cambridge, another fa ...

A-
The Invisible Circus

Jennifer Egan’s a storied writer. She won the Pulitzer and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2011 for Welcome to the Goon Squad. Her writings appear regularly in the New York Times. I’ve enjoyed all of Ms. Egan’s books but my favorite is her first The Invisible Circus. I recommended i ...