Women's Fiction

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Controlling Shelly Fagan

Amazon categorizes Controlling Shelly Fagan as Women’s Religious Fiction, although I’d say it was more akin to the novels of authors such as LaVyrle Spencer and Danielle Steel.  While it’s got a lot of heavy themes of faith and some positive interpretations of religion, there’s a lot in her ...

B+
Memories of Glass

In 1997, the Seinfeld episode called The Yada Yada aired. While this installment is best known for coining the term “anti-dentite” and the use of yada, yada to skip details in conversation, it also takes an intriguing look at religious conversion and the confused feelings such an event creates i ...

C
Summer of '69

This summer marks the fiftieth anniversary of that momentous other summer – the one that took place in 1969.  Within the space of four months, a man would walk on the moon, Woodstock would take place, Ted Kennedy’s car would plunge into the waters of Chappaquiddick, and the Vietnam War would re ...

C
The Oysterville Sewing Circle

The Oysterville Sewing Circle marks Susan Wiggs’ return to a more traditional kind of contemporary romance. Between its pages, we have a woman returning to her tiny hometown after a tragedy in the big city, two adorable orphans who need her guidance, siblings to make trouble, women to protect from ...

C
The Plus One

There are some books out there that feel like dead-on clones for other works.  Sophia Money-Coutts’ The Plus One is a perfect ringer for two; a  Bridget Jones in a lot of ways – give or take a few plot points - it also retells the Marianne Dashwood/Colonel Brandon/Willoughby triangle from Sens ...

A
Things You Save in a Fire

Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she's seen her fair share of them, and she's excellent at dealing with other people's tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it's an em ...

D+
Ellie and the Harpmaker

Ellie and the Harpmaker is, tragically, one of those books that is bound to conjure comparisons with other, better works.  While it’s fairly competent and it’s nice to see an autistic character get a beautiful love story, I could only think of more evenhanded, thoughtfully produced books I’d ...

B
The Book Charmer

The Book Charmer is a story about a quirky Southern borough filled with eccentric characters and bizarre happenstance which the locals label magic. Fans of droll small town stories will find a lot to love here. Our tale begins in 2001, when Sarah Dove discovers books can talk. She isn’t complet ...

A
When We Believed in Mermaids

In the fall of 2014, I fell in love with an utterly charming novel called The All You Can Dream Buffet. Since that time, author Barbara O'Neal has been on my radar, and while her books aren't auto buys for me, I almost always end up reading them eventually. Her latest novel, When We Believed in Merm ...

B+
Natalie Tan's Book of Luck & Fortune

There’s something unexpected and unique about Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck and Fortune.  Magical and sublime with a core that’s a real heartbreaker, it nonetheless has a few problems that keep it from being a full-out A-grade homerun. Natalie Tan once vowed to herself that she’d never retu ...