Reading Guides: Women's Fiction

Printable Guide With Library Holdings

book covers from Women's Fiction list

Suggested Titles

Allen, Sarah Addison / Garden Spells --- PS3601.L4356 G37 2007
A successful caterer in Bascomb, North Carolina, Claire has always remained tied to the legacy of the Waverley family, until her peaceful life is transformed by Tyler Hughes, an art teacher and new next-door neighbor, and by the return of her prodigal sister, Sydney.

Belfer, Laura / A Fierce Radiance --- PS3552.E467 F54 2010
In the anxious days after Pearl Harbor, talented "Life" magazine reporter Clara Shipley finds herself on top of one of the nation's most important stories—the race to discover penicillin at the Rockefeller Institute. When a researcher at the institute dies under suspicious circumstances, the stakes become starkly clear: a murder has been committed to obtain these lucrative new drugs. With lives and a new love hanging in the balance, Claire will put herself at the center of danger to find a killer—no matter what price she may have to pay.

Chevalier, Tracy / The Virgin Blue --- PS3553.H4367 V57 2003
When Ella Turner and her husband move to a small town in France, village life turns out to be less idyllic than Ella expected and a strange series of events propels her on a quest to uncover her family's French ancestry.

Cleave, Chris / Gold: A Novel --- PR6103.L43 G65 2012
Cyclists Zoe and Kate are friends and athletic rivals for Olympic gold, while Kate and her husband Jack, also a world-class cyclist, must contend with the recurrence of their young daughter's leukemia.

Desai, Kishwar / Witness the Night --- PR9499.4.D472 W58 2012
In a small town in the heart of India, a young girl is found tied to a bed inside a townhouse where 13 people lie dead. The girl is alive, but she has been beaten and abused. She is held in the local prison, awaiting interrogation for the murders she is believed by the local people to have committed.

Diamant, Anita / Day After Night --- PS3554.I227 D39 2009
Four young women haunted by unspeakable memories and losses, afraid to begin to hope, find salvation in the bonds of friendship and shared experience even as they confront the challenge of re-creating themselves in a strange new country. Based on the extraordinary true story of the October 1945 rescue of more than two hundred Jewish prisoners from the Atlit internment camp outside Haifa.

Divakaruni, Chitra Benerjee / The Mistress of Spices --- PS3554.I86 M47 1997
Tilo, a woman from India is given immortality by the gods as long as she remains chaste. In her old age Tilo ends up in California, running a spice shop and helping immigrants. One day enters Raven, a handsome American, and Tilo transforms herself into a beautiful woman for a night of love. Now she must pay the price.

Fitzgerald, Laura / Veil of Roses --- PS3606.I8836 V45 2007
This compelling debut follows one spirited young woman from the confines of Iran to the intoxicating freedom of America—where she discovers not only an enticing new country but the roots of her own independence.

Flanery, Patrick / Absolution --- PS3606.L358 A65 2012
In modern-day South Africa, Clare Walde tells the story of her sister's death and the disappearance of her daughter during apartheid twenty years earlier.

Ford, Jamie / Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel --- PS3606.O737 H68 2009
Set in the ethnic neighborhoods of Seattle during World War II and Japanese American internment camps of the era, this debut novel tells the heartwarming story of widower Henry Lee, his father, and his first love Keiko Okabe.

Friddle, Mindy / The Garden Angel --- PS3606.R49 G37 2004b
Cutter is determined to sabotage the sale of her family's dilapidated ancestral home. Her sister Ginny (in the midst of an affair with a professor) doesn't seem to care either way. When the professor's reclusive wife gathers up the courage to leave her own home and confront the Other Woman, she instead meets Cutter, and the two begin a quirky, comforting relationship.

Groff, Lauren / The Monsters of Templeton --- PS3607.R6344 M66 2008
Returning in disgrace to her mother's home after an affair with her professor, temperamental Willie arrives at the same time the remains of a prehistoric creature are discovered in the town's lake, a finding that leads to painful revelations about Willie's family.

Hoffman, Alice / The Ice Queen: A Novel --- PS3558.O3447 I23 2005
After a small town librarian survives a lightning strike, she seeks out a fellow survivor in a quest for meaning, only to begin an obsessive love affair between two opposites joined by a single common thread.

Horan, Nancy / Loving Frank: A Novel --- PS3608.O725 L68 2007
Mamah Borthwick Cheney struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright in this compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual.

Kent, Kathleen / The Heretic's Daughter --- PS3611.E674 H47 2008
Martha Carrier was one of the first women to be accused, tried and hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. This is the fictionalized story of Martha's courageous defiance and ultimate death, as told by the daughter who survived.

Landvik, Lorna / Patty Jane's House of Curl: A Novel --- PS3562.A4835 P38 1995
Two sisters run a beauty parlor in Minneapolis which they turn into a women's support center. One sister is Patty Jane, whose husband skipped town just before she gave birth, the other is Harriet, whose rich boyfriend was killed in a plane crash before they could marry.

Mathis, Ayana / The Twelve Tribes of Hattie --- PS3613.A82847 T76 2012
The story of an African American family held together with a mother's grit and monumental courage.

Melveny, Regina / The Book of Madness and Cures: A Novel --- PS3615.O44 B66 2012
Gabriella Mondini is a rarity in 16th century Venice: a woman who practices medicine. Her father, a renowned physician, has provided her entree to this all male profession, and inspired in her a shared mission to understand the secrets of the human body. Then her father disappears and Gabriella faces a crisis: she is no longer permitted to treat her patients, women who need her desperately, without her father's patronage.

Prunty, Morag / Recipes For a Perfect Marriage: A Novel --- PR6066.R86 R43 2006
The unexpected secret to marital bliss unfolds through the voices of Tressa and the journals and recipes of her grandmother Bernardine. They are generations and oceans apart, yet they learn that marriage, like brown bread, is both sturdy and fragile, and never to be taken for granted.

Rogers, Jane / The Testament of Jessie Lamb: A Novel --- PR6068.O346 T47 2012
A rogue virus that kills pregnant women has been let loose in the world, and nothing less than the survival of the human race is at stake. Some blame the scientists, others see the hand of God, and still others claim that human arrogance and destructiveness are reaping the punishment they deserve. Jessie Lamb is an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl living in extraordinary times. As her world collapses, her idealism and courage drive her toward the ultimate act of heroism. She wants her life to make a difference. But is Jessie heroic? Or is she, as her scientist father fears, impressionable, innocent, and incapable of understanding where her actions will lead?

See, Lisa / Snow Flower and the Secret Fan --- PS3569.E3334 S66 2005b
Against the backdrop of a 19th century China in which women suffered from foot binding, isolation, and illiteracy this evocative story follows an elderly woman and her companion as they communicate their hopes, dreams, joys, and tragedies through a unique secret language.

Silver, Marisa / Mary Coin --- PS3619.I55 M37 2013
In 1936, a young mother resting by the side of a road in central California is spontaneously photographed by a woman documenting the migrant laborers who have taken to America's farms in search of work. Little personal information is exchanged, and neither woman has any way of knowing that they have produced what will become the most iconic image of the Great Depression.

Walls, Jeannette / Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel --- PS3623.A3644 H35 2009
A true-life novel about Lily Casey Smith (the author's grandmother) who at age six helped her father break horses, at age fifteen left home to teach in a frontier town, and later as a wife and mother runs a vast ranch in Arizona. Despite a life of hardscrabble drudgery still remains a woman of indomitable spirit.

West, Michael Lee / Mermaids in the Basement --- PS3573.E8244 M47 2008
Struggling with the loss of her mother, a case of writer's block, and her boyfriend's affair, Renata DeChavannes travels to her Gulf Coast family home, where she struggles to become the empowered woman her formidable grandmother believes her to be.

Last Updated: April 2013

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