Women's Fiction

C-
The Rehearsals

The Rehearsals is one big problem.  Billed as a combination of Groundhog Day with the 2020 film Palm Springs, it does have romantic potential, as hundreds of series that have done time-travel episode can attest to.  But when you have your characters doing some pretty unlikable things, it’s hard ...

C
Lady Sunshine

One can already see the motion picture brewing at the fringes of Lady Sunshine.  It’s an old fashioned slice of women’s fiction about That One Summer When Everything Changed, well, it is at first.  A girl finds herself among the bohemian set, there is a Big Tragedy which kills a character.  M ...

B+
The Rules of Arrangement

While periodicals like Salon and The Atlantic sounded the death knell on chick lit back in the 2010s, I’ve been noticing a mild resurgence of the genre via reprints and new releases. The Rules of Arrangement is one of the latter, a modernized iteration of the classic formula of a young woman juggl ...

C+
Just Last Night

Just Last Night isn’t my favorite Mhairi McFarlane read; the background characters feel ill-sketched, and the leads a bit unlikable, though very human. And even though the central tragedy is compelling, the mourning process so real, the book as a whole isn’t quite engaging enough to earn a recom ...

C
Shoulder Season

Shoulder Season is that time in resort towns that wind up towards and then extends from late summer through Labor Day, before the tourists leave and life in the towns return to normal.  Christina Clancy’s vision of life in the waning days of the Playboy Club system is hampered by an unbelievably ...

C
How to Save a Life

I came up with the genre British Angst Lit to categorize books like Eva Carter’s long and underdeveloped How to Save a Life. In this genre, the story survives entirely on keeping apart its obviously meant-to-be protagonists until the last page, preferably through a variety of missed opportunities, ...

A-
The Hive

Melissa Scholes Young’s terrific southern coming of age tale is an interesting character portrait that manages to combine an emotional slice-of-life tale with a feminist mien that makes the entire experience a fascination. The Fehler Sisters – teenage Tammy and Kate, college-bound Jules, and ...

B+
Pack Up the Moon

Joshua and Lauren are the perfect couple. Newly married, they're wildly in love, each on a successful and rewarding career path. Then Lauren is diagnosed with a terminal illness. As Lauren's disease progresses, Joshua struggles to make the most of the time he has left with his wife and to come to ...

B+
Lizzie & Dante

Lizzie & Dante has all the elements of a great romance - a woman on vacation in Italy, a hot Italian chef with great moves in and out of the kitchen, days on the beach, and nights under the stars. But it also has one element of a great tragedy - Lizzie is sick with cancer. Lizzie Delford, a S ...

A-
Beth & Amy

Virginia Kantra’s epic modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women continues with Beth & Amy, which follows the developing lives of the March family’s two youngest siblings. I actually liked this volume better than its predecessor, and quite enjoyed the way Kantra combines a very ...