I finished reading The Memory Keeper’s Daughter last night. Has anyone else read it? Many people have as it was a New York Times Best Seller when it was released. The premise is horrid, a doctor, forced to deliver his own twins in the middle of a snowstorm, helps his wife deliver a baby boy and a daughter with Down Syndrome. He gives the daughter to the nurse and asks her to take the baby to a group home, but the nurse disappears to the city and raises her as her own. The doctor then tells his wife that their daughter was stillborn.
The number of secrets each character holds in their heart, always with the idea of protecting someone they love, causes them all to live in a thick stew of grief. The characters overlap in their various interactions, but are never honest with each other or the feelings they are trying to suppress.
Relationships in all forms are the root of women’s fiction. Marriage, parenting, friendship, co-working all provide ample opportunity for entertaining fiction. If you love reading woman’s fiction here are a few that I recommend. Within the pages of these books you’ll find friends, lovers, lies, truth and families:
The Promise of Another Life by Red Samuels: With a vicious lie, young Christian Pentnam changes his destiny from trailer park trash to the son of a wealthy man. But behind the mansion walls is a life of secrets and lies—secrets that haunt him into his adulthood. His love for Rachel and his passion for painting are the two things that help him survive his father’s cruelty, but even those are torn away.
As an adult, the ghosts of Christian’s childhood are buried along with his heart. If he listens to the whispers from the past, he stands to silence a killer who has one last victim square in his scope. Will the secrets and lies of his youth be the destruction of Christian, the man, or will the memories he hid from eventually be his salvation?
Anytime Soon by Tamika Christy: Frenzied. Overburdened. Stressed. Overwhelmed. These are just a few ways to describe college senior Anaya Goode’s life. Add to this no career prospects following a looming graduation, and Anaya quickly finds herself drowning in the chaos of her own life. Her family and friends demand much of Anaya, and she’s struggling to balance herself in the mire. Facing an onslaught of grief, complex relationships, and a life that is full of deafening noise, Anaya must find herself, and maybe even true love and redemption, amid old traditions and new beginnings.
Family Inheritance by Terri Ann Leidich: Called to the bedside of their dying mother, three sisters reluctantly return to their childhood home in northern Minnesota. What should be a reunion of love and warmth is tainted by the ghosts of their childhood; their parents’ farm is a place of painful memories. With their mother slipping into a coma, Helene leaves behind a shell of a marriage in Atlanta—her country club lifestyle not at all what it seems. Alice has finally fled an abusive husband but is afraid her failing courage will put her children in danger. Waking up beside yet another stranger, Suzanne can no longer deny how an alcohol addiction may destroy everything she’s worked for—an addiction that barely masks the terrible wounds on her soul.
They may have escaped the farm, but Helene, Alice, and Suzanne find they are still perpetuating a cycle of pain, abuse, alcoholism, anger, fear, and bitterness. Seeing themselves through each other’s eyes, the sisters are forced to confront their demons as their mother lies dying. Will they be able to tread through the wreckage of the past to create lives filled with hope, love, and triumph?
Blue by Kayce Stevens Hughlett: One insecure perfectionist. One guilt-ridden artist. One child-woman who talks to peacocks. A trio of complex heroines on separate journeys toward a single intertwined truth.
Imagine living exclusively for others and waking up one day with a chance to start over. The terrifying new beginning reeks of abandonment and betrayal. The choice for Seattle resident Monica lingers between now and then . . . them and her.
Izabel’s idyllic existence on Orcas Island is turned upside down during the birth of a friend’s child. Suddenly, pain rips through her own body, and life as she knows it shifts, hinting at a forgotten past and propelling her toward an uncertain future.
On another island, young Daisy awakens surrounded by infinite shades of blue. Is she dreaming or has she stepped through the portal into a fantastical land where animals spout philosophy and a gruesome monster plots her destruction?
Blue—a subtle psychological mind-bender where each heroine is her own worst enemy. Eccentric. Loveable. Unforgettable.
Destination D by Lori Beard Daily: A broken promise from their school days at Spelman College takes three successful friends in Atlanta to an unexpected destination of discord, duplicity, and denial. Their personal demons drastically alter their friendship and their life’s destiny.
The first friend leads a secret life of multiple personas that allows her to escape her own reality and ease into a life of deception long before her true identity is discovered.
At the pinnacle of her career, the second friend is self‐driven, sexually suppressed, and highly explosive . . . blowing up at anyone who crosses her path. Her domineering ambition drives her into a collision course with herself and steers her in an unexpected direction that becomes life‐altering.
The third friend is a single mother seeking refuge from a regretful past that has finally caught up with her present. Just when she thinks her future is solid, it begins to crumble as her fate is altered by a past romance that resurfaces . . . resulting in an unexpected resolution.
Farthest House by Margaret Lukas: When Willow is born and her mother dies moments later, only the narrator of this spellbinding debut novel knows the death isn’t from complications of childbirth. Amelie-Anais, buried on the Nebraska hilltop where the family home resides, tells the story of deceit, survival, and love from beyond the grave. Following Willow’s life and Willow’s incredible passion to paint despite loneliness, a physical handicap, and being raised by a father plagued with secrets, Amelie-Anais weaves together the lives of four enigmatic generations.
“Not since The Lovely Bones have we experienced such a moving tale of love, suspense, and family secrets narrated by a ghost. Lukas creates a complex, moving story with brilliant lyricism and hard won realism. She is a rare writer who makes you devour her words. Readers of Alice Hoffman and Anita Shreve will love this novel…and stay up all night to finish it!”Jonis Agee, author of The River Wife, The Weight of Dreams, and South of Resurrection
Ameera Unveiled by Kathleen Varn:
At the age of forty-eight, happily remarried and retired from her legal assistant gerbil wheel, Kat decides to break out of her shell and try her hand at belly dancing. What begins as a hobby leads her to filling a coveted spot in Palmetto Oasis Middle Eastern Dance Troupe. With less than eight weeks to prepare, Kat’s thrown into a world of performing she is terrified to face, all leading to a week of giving lessons and performing in Jamaica. Traveling with eight glittery strangers, she forges deep bonds under outrageous circumstances at what they’d soon all discover was a clothing-optional resort. Struggling with paralyzing stage fright and searching for the deeper root of her fears, Kat feverishly seeks a way to release Ameera, her inner dance queen. By the end of the week, the audience is mesmerized by the powerful presence and synchronicity of women joined at the hip by scarves and some glitter. Kat soon knows, with the help of eight sisters in dance, that she is finally part of a tribe, discovering an oasis to refresh her thirst to be part of a circle of women.
All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing are available on Amazon and B&N or can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore.