New York Times Bestselling Author

Book Review: Women’s Fiction

Posted on Jun 3, 2017 |

The Bookshop at Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry


Women’s Fiction

This is a sweet story of two grown women who are now mothers. Bonny is an ER doc trying to find her way out of a loveless marriage. After an accident in the ER, she needs some time to regroup, so she returns to Water’s End, a small sea side town where she and Lainey became friends when they were thirteen years old. Back then, they had been inseparable. They were known as the Summer Sisters. They had the Girls’ Detective Club, inspired by Nancy Drew mysteries, and their safe haven was a bookstore run by a woman named Mimi. Bonny brings her teenage daughter, Piper, with her to Water’s End, and, even though Lainey has terrible memories of Water’s End, Bonny convinces her to leave her husband in California for a few weeks and bring her two small children out to the beach house.

 Initially, Piper feels like she’s being punished because she flunked out of her freshman year of college. In addition to that blow, she’s also from her boyfriend not just breaking up with her but immediately falling for another girl and taking off to Europe with her. By making friends with a local boy and Mimi and babysitting Lainey’s six- and four-year-old children, Piper slowly begins to heal. Bonny has to decide what to do with her career and her life. Lainey wants to solve the thirty-five year old mystery of what happened to her mother.

 Told from multiple first-person points of view, the complexity of the characters are good. I also like the mystery of Lainey trying to figure out what happened to her mother, a search that has played a large role in her life. The novel is not a completely fluffy summer read, although it does have a sweet mostly-happily-ever-after ending.

Thanks to NetGalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book.

The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy


Women’s Fiction

This is a beautifully written story of two sisters surviving on the run after the death of their mother.

Eighteen-year-old Mary is gorgeous and survives through hard work that isn’t always legal. She takes care of her four-year-old sister Hannah with fierce loyalty. Their travels take them from the East Coast through the Midwest to California.

The story is told by going back and forth in time from when Hannah was born to different times in Hannah and Mary’s life. In that way it’s a modern history of the late seventies through the eighties. At some points it seemed there was an undercurrent of something sinister—I genuinely worried about whether the sisters would be OK. The story is also tinged with sadness over missed opportunities. It’s wonderful, however, to read a novel about strong women like Mary and their neighbor, Alice, a woman who was unable to have children of her own. Alice—Mrs. Pool—seems like a pushover, but she’s strong and heroic in her own way.

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for this Advanced Reading Copy in exchange for an honest review.


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