By Mary Olson
Womenâ€™s fiction is a rather new term librarians, booksellers and publishers have assigned to books that feature some very familiar themes: family drama, friendship, relationships, growing older and the conflicts women face during their lifetimes. Womenâ€™s fiction might be explained simply as good stories written for women by women. A relationship with a family member, lover or friends is at the center of the plot, and often romance, intrigue or self-discovery are closely linked.
Some wildly popular authors fall into this category, and fortunately, they have newly published books just waiting for you to enjoy.
â€œThe Off Seasonâ€ by Ann Rivers Siddons
After the death of her husband, 53-year-old Lilly seeks a peaceful refuge in the family cottage on the coast of Maine. Lillyâ€™s time alone awakens memories of her childhood, courtship and relationship with her parents.
Told in a sensitive, reflective voice, this story will bring the authorâ€™s fans back and win her many new fans as well.
â€œThe Lace Readerâ€ by Brunonia Barry
Generations of Whitney women have shared the gift of being able to tell the future by reading patterns woven in fine lace. After surviving several traumas, Towner Whitney returns to Salem, Mass., to recover and regroup. But the lure of lace-reading is too strong to resist, and Towner is drawn into the mystery surrounding her auntâ€™s death.
Filled with history of Salem and a rich cast of characters, this debut novel will have readers anxiously awaiting Barryâ€™s next book.
â€œThe Beach Houseâ€ by Jane Green
Nan lives alone in her Nantucket home, relishing the freedom that comes to women â€œof a certain ageâ€: freedom to borrow flowers from other peopleâ€™s gardens and skinny dip in the ocean. When Nan finds herself in financial crisis, she opens her home to a bevy of boarders who each add their own unique spark of life to Nanâ€™s house. But Nanâ€™s joyful new life is threatened when an unexpected visitor arrives.
â€œDomestic Affairsâ€ by Eileen Goudge
Twenty-five years ago, Abigail and her mother were thrown out of the wealthy home where they were treated like family despite their status as housekeepers. Still carrying the bitterness of betrayal, Abigail turned her domestic skills into a thriving business. But Lila, the daughter in the house Abigail used to serve, has had a reversal of fortune as well. Now penniless, Lila seeks employment in Abigailâ€™s home. Will Abigail choose revenge?
Olson is an outreach librarian with Medina County District Library.