The best lyrical women's fiction that deep-dives into complex relationships, while tugging every heartstring

Who am I?

As you get to know the characters I create, you'll be imbued with a sense of hope and possibility–with the magic that can happen when someone pokes a toe out of her comfort zone and makes things happen. You'll relate to discrete characters, who like most women, desire and deserve true love, authentic relationships—whether they be friends, mothers, daughters, or loversand meaningful work. You'll care about their emotional hurts, the misunderstandings that cause them to stumble, and cheer them on as they make choices that ultimately lead them to create empowered, fulfilling lives. Hooking you from the first sentence, I'll ignite your brain's hardwired desire to learn what happens next. 


I wrote...

Topanga Canyon

By Elizabeth Sumner Wafler,

Book cover of Topanga Canyon

What is my book about?

Candy empire heiress Dare O'Day has never done a reckless thing in her life, or so her version 2.0 hippie, estranged daughter Caroline believes. When Dare is haplessly involved in a scandal that rocks her small-town Virginia world, she needs to get out of town fast. Acting on a hunch that it could be her last chance to forge an authentic relationship with her daughter, Dare and her one-eared rescue dog head for Caroline's intentional community "Crewtopia" in California.

Despite their differences, Dare and Caroline manage to confront a lifetime of family secrets and misunderstandings. Ultimately, the two learn that a loving and supportive relationship between mothers and daughters has the power to influence generations to come and is the strongest and most important bond of all.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The School of Essential Ingredients

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did I love this book?

This luminous women's fiction is anchored by Lillian, restauranteur by day, cooking class instructor by night. Come for the lyrical and evocative descriptions of sophisticated food and indulgences. Stay for a brilliantly-crafted cast of flawed characters, who seek hope and restoration. I especially adore this novel for the relatable backstories of Lillian's students. It's the perfect, decadent slice of life for escaping yours.

By Erica Bauermeister,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The School of Essential Ingredients as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the author of Reese Witherspoon's Book Club pick The Scent Keeper comes a "heartbreakingly delicious" national bestseller about a chef, her students, and the evocative lessons that food teaches about life.

Once a month on a Monday night, eight students gather in Lillian's restaurant for a cooking class. Among them is Claire, a young woman coming to terms with her new identity as a mother; Tom, a lawyer whose life has been overturned by loss; Antonia, an Italian kitchen designer adapting to life in America; and Carl and Helen, a long-married couple whose union contains surprises the rest of…


Book cover of You Me Everything: A Novel

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did I love this book?

I love this tale of Jess, single mom of young William, who sets off to spend the summer at her ex-boyfriend Adam's hotel—an idyllic, restored castle nestled into the sunlit hills of the French countryside. Her aim? To make Adam fall in love with his son. Jess can't allow Adam to let William downbecause she is tormented by a secret, one that nobodyespecially her sonmust discover. Come for an equal-parts wry comedy and heart-wrenching family drama. Stay for a deliciously tender story about finding love and joy in unexpected places.


By Catherine Isaac,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked You Me Everything as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

*** THE FEEL-GOOD NOVEL OF THE SUMMER AND A RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2018 SELECTION ***
'Wow. Just wow. If you liked Me Before You, you'll love You Me Everything' Sunday Times bestseller Clare Mackintosh
Set in the French countryside over one hot summer, You Me Everything is a tender novel about finding joy and love even in the most unexpected places.

Jess and her ten-year-old son William set off to spend the summer at Chateau de Roussignol, deep in the rich, sunlit hills of the Dordogne. There, Jess's ex-boyfriend and William's father, Adam, runs a beautiful hotel in…


Book cover of Daisy Jones & The Six

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did I love this book?

A Fleetwood Mac devotee, I couldn't help fall for this book whose flawed and fabulous band characters are at the heart and soul of the story. Reid swears it's a fictional group, but you will find yourself wondering if she's having us on. It's that real. And so absorbing, it's a page-turning palooza. Ambition, success, friendship, desire, betrayal, disillusionment, and true love lie below the surface of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. 

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked Daisy Jones & The Six as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

SOON TO BE AN AMAZON PRIME TV SERIES STARRING SAM CLAFLIN, RILEY KEOUGH AND CAMILA MORRONE

THE SUNDAY TIMES AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From the author of THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO and the bestselling MALIBU RISING

'I LOVE it . . . I can't remember the last time I read a book that was so fun' DOLLY ALDERTON

Everybody knows Daisy Jones and the Six.

From the moment Daisy walked barefoot on to the stage at the Whisky, she and the band were a sensation.

Their sound defined an era. Their albums were on every turntable. They…


Book cover of Remembrance

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did I love this book?

This masterpiece will compel anyone who's not yet a lover of historical fiction with elements of fantasy to jump the broom into Remembrance, a voodoo-induced world refuge for 18th and 19th century enslaved people. The lives of a trio of women separated by place and time are deftly braided by this debut author. Evocative escapism at its best.

By Rita Woods,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Remembrance as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Stunning. ... Family is at the core of Remembrance, the breathtaking debut novel by Rita Woods." -- The Boston Globe. This breakout historical debut with modern resonance is perfect for the many fans of The Underground Railroad and Orphan Train.

Remembrance…It’s a rumor, a whisper passed in the fields and veiled behind sheets of laundry. A hidden stop on the underground road to freedom, a safe haven protected by more than secrecy…if you can make it there.

Ohio, present day. An elderly woman who is more than she seems warns against rising racism as a young nurse grapples with her…


Book cover of Second Nature: A Love Story

Elizabeth Sumner Wafler Why did I love this book?

I unabashedly admit to reading this fabulously fascinating novel at least five times. Set "a few years in the future," a remote young medical illustrator, Sicily Coyne, needs a new face. When the girlhood victim of a deadly church fire learns that her fiancé holds a deeply buried and devastating secret, Sicily is propelled to agree to receive the first-ever face transplant. Surgery not only restores her appearance, but transforms her into a gorgeous young woman, which sends her spiraling into deep depression. But Sicily's a survivor. She begins embracing a brave new world, ultimately finding an unexpected and by all accounts unsuitable new love, who gives her a gift she never would have expected. Mitchard, one of our finest women's fiction writers at the top of her game.

By Jacquelyn Mitchard,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Second Nature as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard’s novels, with their riveting stories and unforgettable characters, have won the hearts of millions of readers. Now, from the author of The Deep End of the Ocean and No Time to Wave Goodbye, comes the fierce and moving tale of one woman’s fight for her identity and her life when fate holds out a second chance.

Sicily Coyne was just thirteen when her father was killed in a school fire that left her face disfigured. Twelve years later, a young surgeon, Eliza Cappadora, offers hope in the form of a revolutionary new surgery…


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These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

By Sarah Loudin Thomas,

Book cover of These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

Sarah Loudin Thomas Author Of These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

New book alert!

Who am I?

Author Appalachian West virginian Dog lover Hiker

Sarah's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna must seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced to confront the wounds of long ago. She'll have to risk the job that shapes her identity as well as the hope of friendship--and love--restored.

These Tangled Threads: A Novel of Biltmore

By Sarah Loudin Thomas,

What is this book about?

Seven years ago, a hidden betrayal scattered three young friends living in the shadow of Biltmore Estate. Now, when Biltmore Industries master weaver Lorna Blankenship is commissioned to create an original design for Cornelia Vanderbilt's 1924 wedding, she panics knowing she doesn't have the creativity needed. But there's an elusive artisan in the Blue Ridge Mountains who could save her--if only she can find her.

To track the mysterious weaver down, Lorna sees no other way but to seek out the relationships she abandoned in shame. As she pulls at each tangled thread from her old life, Lorna is forced…


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