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Women's Fiction Author Spotlight

Inspired by the growing number of Women's Fiction titles, this feature spotlights novels dealing with issues significant to women. We share stories of friendship, love and family. Our Women's Fiction authors will range from familiar favorites to debut writers who we love. The titles featured here will make you smile, laugh, frown and cry --- and are sure to inspire a lively conversation.

Sally Hepworth, author of The Things We Keep

Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only 38 years old, resides in Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. There, she meets fellow resident Luke, and a relationship develops between the two. When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother, she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind House. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

Elizabeth Strout, author of My Name Is Lucy Barton

Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable.

Katarina Bivald, author of The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy's funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor --- not much else to do in a small town that's almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she'd start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together --- and change everything.

Susan Meissner, author of Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Los Angeles, Present Day. When a hat worn by Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind ends up in Christine McAllister's vintage clothing boutique by mistake, her efforts to return it to its owner take her on a journey more enchanting than any classic movie. Los Angeles, 1938. Violet Mayfield goes to Hollywood after her dream of having a family falls apart. There, she meets enigmatic Audrey Duvall, a once-rising film star. Their adventures together among Hollywood's glitterati enthrall Violet...until each woman's deepest desires collide.

Anne Girard, author of Platinum Doll

It's the Roaring Twenties, and 17-year-old Harlean Carpenter McGrew has run off to Beverly Hills. There, she has everything a girl could want, except an outlet for her talent. But everything changes when a dare pushes her to embrace her true ambition --- to be an actress on the silver screen. With her timeless beauty and striking shade of platinum-blond hair, Harlean becomes Jean Harlow. And as she's thrust into the limelight, Jean learns that this new world of opportunity comes with its own set of burdens.

Paula McLain, author of Circling the Sun

Beryl Markham's unconventional upbringing transforms her into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature’s delicate balance. But when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set. But it’s the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart.

Emilie Richards, author of The Color of Light

Minister Analiese Wagner's commitment to her parishioners has never been seriously tested until the frigid night she encounters a homeless family huddling in the churchyard. Offering them shelter in a vacant parish house apartment and taking teenage Shiloh Fowler under her wing, she tests the loyalty and faith of her congregation. Isaiah Colburn, the Catholic priest who was her first mentor and the man she secretly longed for, understands her struggles only too well. At a crossroads, he suddenly has reappeared in her life, torn between his priesthood and his growing desire for a future with Analiese.

Mary Kay Andrews, author of Beach Town

Greer Hennessy, a movie location scout, must find the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town but finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thibadeaux. A born-again environmentalist, he has seen massive damage done to the town by a huge paper company and has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.

Sarah Vaughan, author of The Art of Baking Blind

In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden.  As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn --- just as Mrs. Eaden did before them --- that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

Lisa Genova, author of Inside the O'Briens

A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their 20s, and respected police officer, Joe O'Brien begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s disease.