Every now and then as a novelist you get some unexpected affirmation from those whose opinion of your work matters a great deal. When I learned A Fall of Marigolds had been named in BookList‘s Top Ten Women’s Fiction for 2014, I was humbled to the core.This centutry-old magazine is published by the American Library Association, and is used to help libraries decide what to put on their shelves and to help library patrons and students decide what to read, view, or listen to.
This list comprises the top 10 women’s fiction reviewed from the last 12 months and covers “chick lit to tearjerkers, heavy issues to lighthearted comedy.” According to BookList, one of the key ‘appeal factors’ for its Women’s Fiction Top Ten list is “that sense of recognition the target audience—yes, women—gets from identifying with the heroines, and these novels deliver something for just about anyone.”
I am beyond grateful and so honored to be among these other writers and I know I will be adding some new books to my TBR ladder to the sky, too. Here’s the list. Have you read any of the books here? Tell us all about it. Or tell us what your list of best books for 2014 is so far.
BookList’s TOP TEN WOMEN’S FICTION:
The Apple Orchard. By Susan Wiggs. “Art specialist Tess has a successful professional life but is lacking in the family department. When she’s named heir to one-half of an estate and discovers the other half goes to the sister she never knew she had, her life gets turned upside-down.”
The Bookstore. By Deborah Meyler. “Between studying art history at Columbia University on a prestigious scholarship and a two-week fling with a magnetic, wealthy man, 23-year-old Esme Garland from England is happily settling into life in Manhattan when she discovers she’s pregnant. This character-driven novel is witty and poetic.”
A Fall of Marigolds. By Susan Meissner. “The heartbreaks of two women, separated by decades, come together in the history of a scarf that holds special meaning to each woman. Christian fiction author Meissner’s first mainstream women’s fiction novel hits all of the right emotional notes without overdoing the two tragedies.
Golden State. By Michelle Richmond. Estranged sisters Julie and Heather are brought together as Heather goes into labor and Julie, a doctor, rushes to her side to assist. But the sisters are separated by forces beyond their control, as their city, San Francisco, is in chaos, shut down by political protests. Perfect for fans of issue-driven women’s fiction.”
Ladies’ Night. By Mary Kay Andrews. “Grace, an interior-design blogger, discovers her husband is cheating on her. She begins therapy with a group of other “marital misfits,” and the women soon start meeting at Grace’s mother’s bar, where they plot revenge but eventually learn to move on.”
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe. By Jenny Colgan. “In this fun and fast-paced read, Issy Randall loses her job and her boss/boyfriend in one embarrassing swoop. She decides to take her severance pay and open a bakery in her London neighborhood.”
Sweet Salt Air. By Barbara Delinsky. “Two girlhood friends who’ve been estranged for the past 10 years reunite to collaborate on a cookbook, both of them harboring secrets. Never fear; Delinsky knows when a happy ending is in order.”
Time Flies. By Claire Cook. “In this delightful beach read, two best friends reunite for their high-school reunion and overcome their fears. The banter is a lot of fun, and the characters’ realization of what is important is certain to make readers yearn for reconnections of their own.”
Who Asked You? By Terry McMillan. “Told from the perspectives of several of the characters, this novel offers an array of personalities and everyday life challenges within a story of close friends, family, and neighbors as they grow and change over many years.”
The Whole Golden World. By Kristina Riggle. “Dinah’s world is about to fall apart—her teenage daughter has been caught half-naked in her teacher’s car. Rain, the teacher’s wife, is watching her life fall apart instead of rejoicing in the news that she’s finally pregnant. Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this story.”