Women's Fiction

A
The Scent Keeper

The Scent Keeper is a marvelous piece of work.  Like the bottled smells its characters covet and loathe, it carries an odor all its own.  Top notes of other tales about children living on isolated islands float over the piece, but do not define it. You can smell flashes of Nim’s Island, sunbaked ...

B-
The Key to Happily Ever After

The Key to Happily Ever After is the story of adversarial sisters and their romantic interests. Tif Marcelo has a keen understanding of the relationship space of sisters, how birth order affects that space, and how personal and professional emotions overlap when you have to work with your relatives. ...

A-
Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors

Neurosurgeon Trisha Raje descends from Indian royalty.  Her father – now a surgeon himself – was once a prince, and he gave up his royal lineage in an attempt at assimilating when he married their one-time child star mother. Due to their hard-to-please dad’s influence, the Raje children all c ...

C-
The Library of Lost and Found

The Library of Lost and Found is one of those books that one takes out of the library for a weekend and then forgets entirely about by Monday.  Consumed between bites of sandwich and sips of tea, it plays out in bland, unexciting, and predictable ways.  The author shows some real flashes of talent ...

C-
Jane of Austin

Jane of Austin falls somewhere in the middle of a Venn Diagram of Texas, tea, and Jane Austen, and since I consider all three of those interests of mine, I thought I would give it a chance. Sadly, I found it lacking on all three fronts, too slow, and overly long with little to say. There are quotes ...

C
The Perfect Dress

Mitzi Taylor, Jody Andrews and Paula own a custom wedding dress shop for plus-sized women – the titular Perfect Dress - which is pretty ironic considering none of them have ever been married.  Paula is a superstitious half-Cajun who believes in curses, Jody’s come the closest to actually achiev ...

C+
The Secret of Clouds

I've read and loved two of Alyson Richman's World War II-era historical novels, so I was really looking forward to her latest novel, The Secret of Clouds. It is set in a completely different time period, and I was eager to see how it would compare to her previous works. The year is 1999, and twen ...

B+
The River Widow

Ann Howard Creel’s southern gothic mystery tale The River Widow combines homespun drama with wicked mystery.  It’s a superb tale, but it’s not without its problems. When we first meet Adah Branch, it’s 1937, the Great Depression is ongoing, and she’s trying to salvage what she can from ...

D
My Very '90s Romance

NOTE: This is a re-issue of the 2010 book Talking to Addison Florist and psychology degree holder Holly sells flowers at the New Covent Garden Market while waiting for a better position, and has terrific taste in blossoms. But when it comes to picking the right place to live – not so much.  Pa ...

A+
Queenie

Queenie is, quite simply, the best novel I’ve read this year so far.  The publicity describes the book as Bridget Jones meets Zadie Smith, but I’d go a step farther – this is an original voice with something fresh to say about the lives of young black British women struggling to maintain thei ...