The best women’s fiction books that you’ll be thinking about years later

Who am I?

My writing often focuses on motherhood and the difficult choices mothers are asked to make every day. I search for books to help me understand the points of view of other women. What they're thinking and feeling and the revelations that shape them and change the trajectory of their lives. I decided a long time ago, that if I'm going to invest the amount of time it takes to write a novel, then I have to have a passion for it. I strive to write characters that resonate, with those who are often marginalized in society because I want to shine a light on all the facets of humanity, not just the pretty ones. 

I wrote...

When Wren Came Out

By Blair Bryan,

Book cover of When Wren Came Out

What is my book about?

How do you accept your child's authentic identity when it goes against everything you’ve always believed in?

Traditional Army wife, Theresa Churchill, was relieved when her husband retired and they finally put down roots in a picket-fence and apple pie Minnesota town. She is thrilled to see her daughter settling in and making friends, but, gradually, she begins to worry that Wren’s feelings for her classmate go beyond friendship. An undeniable transformation is taking place Theresa cannot ignore, forcing her to grapple with her own convictions and demanding that she navigate the widening divide between her conservative husband and queer child. Theresa must embark on a journey from fear and confusion to unconditional love and acceptance discovering the courage she needs to give her child the freedom to love. 

The books I picked & why

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

By Taylor Jenkins Reid,

Book cover of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Why this book?

This book shines a spotlight on the luscious glamor of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the price women were asked to pay to stand in it. It chronicles Evelyn’s drive to fulfill her career dreams under a magnifying glass and the concessions she is forced to make to keep her celebrity status. The contrast between this feisty superstar and the journalist who is tasked with writing her story is beautifully executed and the choice between fame and the freedom to choose authentic love is one that sticks with you. 

The Push

By Ashley Audrain,

Book cover of The Push

Why this book?

This book pulled my heartstrings as a mother. The experience isn’t always as romanticized as we are told it should be and I rejoiced for this refreshing glimpse into a side of it seldom seen. You feel the emotions through the heartache of this mother grappling with raising a difficult child and the ramifications of her actions leave you breathless. I read this on Mother’s Day weekend and could not put it down. Eight hours later, I crawled into bed still thinking about it, and now over a year later, I am still mulling it over. It’s a story that grabs a hold of you and won’t let go. 

Write My Name Across the Sky

By Barbara O'Neal,

Book cover of Write My Name Across the Sky

Why this book?

I identified with WIllow, the musician, who poured her whole heart and soul into a record that never hit the big time. She is disappointed with her current level of success and goes home to New York to stay with her Aunt Gloria in her famous mother’s old penthouse. The story revolves around an investigation into stolen art and I adored the seventy-year-old Gloria who chose herself instead of the love she found in the arms of a passionate artist turned art smuggler. The characters are richly detailed and women you want to know, and the prose is lyrical and complex, so beautiful you have to pause to appreciate it. 

All We Ever Wanted

By Emily Giffin,

Book cover of All We Ever Wanted

Why this book?

This author is the queen of modern family storytelling. When a scandalous photo is snapped of an underage girl at a party Nina’s son attended and then shared publicly, it sets off a powder keg in her affluent community. It was interesting seeing the way money could corrupt a family and a mother who fought against that instinct to do what was right. Nina is divided between loyalty to her husband and son and standing up for a girl who was assaulted. When the truth comes out, it is a life-changing moment that changes everything. 

Small Great Things

By Jodi Picoult,

Book cover of Small Great Things

Why this book?

This book has so much to teach us about race and misconceptions. Faced with the decision of intervening to save a newborn baby’s life and the orders she’s been given not to touch the child of white supremacists, a NICU nurse, Ruth, hesitates for a moment then provides care. Her hesitation causes her to be charged with a serious crime. She is assigned a white public defender who wants to plead out and keep race out of the equation, but Ruth stands her ground. The women have to learn to trust each other and to find common ground. This is the most beautiful struggle about race from both perspectives that leaves you with a deeper understanding of both sides of the issue. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in family secrets, movie stars, and teenagers?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about family secrets, movie stars, and teenagers.

Family Secrets Explore 83 books about family secrets
Movie Stars Explore 20 books about movie stars
Teenagers Explore 62 books about teenagers

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Where the Crawdads Sing, Orphan Train, and Before We Were Yours if you like this list.