Author:Susan Kraus Release Date: 29th October 2022 Series: Genre: Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Fiction Format: E-book Pages: 515 pages Publisher: Flint Hills Publishing Blurb: Grace, a family therapist, returns from a cruise to find that life has been upended by the COVID-19 pandemic. Her daughter’s graduate program goes virtual, and her 11-year-old grandson on the spectrum is home 24/7 with school by Zoom. Her best friend, Katrina, contracts the virus early on but isn’t recovering. On top of that, Grace is called to facilitate a COVID grief group, whose members express rage and sadness at the senseless deaths of people they love. Meanwhile, Molly and Mike forge a long-distance friendship over Zoom. A young couple, Zed and Cherry, finds validation and connection in QAnon. And on another front, Theo, a respiratory therapist, questions the ethics of keeping oxygen-starved patients alive.
When We Lost Touch is contemporary historical fiction set during the first 18 months of a deadly pandemic. Ordinary people lose touch with friends, family, reality, and truth as they’re caught in a war zone where most of the casualties are taken down by friendly fire. Kraus expertly weaves stories that portray life during a pandemic, providing a gripping, nuanced look at political, social, and medical challenges.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
When We Lost Touch by Susan Kraus is a work of contemporary literary fiction in which the author has explored the toughest time we all had to go through during the endless months that turned into two horrendous years of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this book, several stories are told from different point-of-views covering a wide range of emotions and situations that different people had to go through during the pandemic when we all were cooped up inside our houses and the only means of communication was the internet. There is a wide range of emotional aspects covered in this book and it makes it a really interesting and very relatable read.
The writing is good and it can clearly be noticed that the author has drawn upon her extensive experience of being a therapist and working in clinical surroundings. These two factors add a sense of reality to the whole book making it a tremendously relatable read.
I’d recommend this book to all readers of women’s literature and to literary fiction enthusiasts.
Author: Laura F. Murphy Release Date: 5th September 2022 Series: Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction Format: E-book Pages: 271 pages Publisher: – Blurb: Igor Fenenko, a former research scientist, is a scary, scary man. Not only is he a massive bodybuilder with a spider tattooed on his face, he has also been infected with Pestis Manducans — viral cannibalism. Igor tried to resist indulging, but his research specimens smelled so delicious. Who did it hurt, really, to nibble a corpse? Caught, disgraced, and sent to a ‘rehabilitation’ center, Igor is now forced to live in a government-mandated Containment Center. He spends his days pressing wildflowers, growing blueberries, and doing his best to avoid human meat. More than anything, he wants a cure for the virus that has ruined his life.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Before Dawn by Laura F. Murphy is a beautifully written contemporary fiction novel about relationships and a person’s journey to come to terms with their own self.
This book had an exceptionally well-written story and was full of emotionally complex as well as mature characters that were multi-layered. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and the protagonist, Max’s, journey to find herself through the curve balls that life throws at her. Another thing that I really liked in this book was the cultural background of the main lead and its significance in the story in forming her character’s belief system and decision-making.
Overall I was really impressed with the depth and the emotional maturity that was explored in this book and would strongly recommend it to all women literature and contemporary fiction readers.
Author:Teri M. Brown Release Date: 5th January 2022 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction Format: E-book Pages: 334 pages Publisher: Atmosphere Press Blurb: A Ukrainian rebel. Three generations of women bearing the consequences. A journey that changes everything. When Ivanna opens the door to uniformed officers, her tranquil life is torn to pieces – leaving behind a broken woman who must learn to endure cold, starvation, and the memories of a man who died in the quintessential act of betrayal. Using her thrift, ingenuity, and a bit of luck, she finds a way to survive in Soviet Ukraine, along with her daughter, Yevtsye. But the question remains, will she be strong enough to withstand her daughter’s deceit and the eventual downfall of the nation she has devoted her life to? Or will the memories of her late husband act as a shadow haunting everyone and everything she loves, including Ionna, the granddaughter that never knew him?
In Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, Teri M. Brown explores the tenacity of women, showing that even in grueling circumstances, they can, and do, experience all the good things life has to offer – compassion, joy, love, faith, and wonder.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Sunflowers Beneath The Snow by Teri M. Brown is a beautiful book about love, courage, compassion and faith.
This book covers the time period from 1973 to 2021 – taking the readers through the lives of 3 generations of women facing the most harrowing of situations that life has to offer but yet, somehow, never give up or lose sight of what is important. Author T.M.Brown takes the readers through a plethora of events that this book showcases, Right from living under communist rule to facing the punishment for a betrayal committed by one of the family members and the rest having to live with the consequences.
This is an epic family saga that is beautifully written and intellectually expressed. I would strongly recommend it to all readers of historical fiction, women’s literature and literary fiction about families under the communal rule. This book is is a must read!
Author: Emily Craig Release Date: 15th December 2021 Genre: New Adult Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Travel Series: Format: E-book Pages: 226 pages Publisher: New Degree Press Blurb: Two years of marriage ruined by one drunken mistake. Lucy’s story is not yet over. In the sequel Where Will We Go?, Lucy Berry is faced with new challenges that will both excite and challenge her. Newly divorced from her high school sweetheart David, she is plunged into a new world where David is now engaged to his mistress while she has to navigate a life after love and heartbreak.
Just when Lucy is feeling unworthy of happiness, a silver lining presents itself. She lands her dream job as a travel writer. Follow aspiring author Lucy as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery with her best friends by her side. Witness as she blissfully immerses herself in French culture while hitting all of Paris’ hot spots for her new job. Laugh along while she helps throw an epic murder mystery birthday bash. Most of all, join Lucy as she transforms her self-doubt to self-love, ending a tragic year with the surprise of her life. Will Lucy finally leave David in the past or will he continue to haunt her dreams?
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Where Will We Go? by Emily Craig is a new Women’s Fiction, New Adult, Contemporary fiction novel that is both, quick to read and easy to love.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot because the writing had a very good flow. The characterisation was good and the settings were absolutely brilliant. I loved that the author used the backdrop of Paris in this book because I love that place (actually I may be kind of obsessed with it – just a little bit *wink*) so when I read the blurb I knew it from the start that Iw as gonna love this book and I was not at all disappointed!
The author did a great job with a seemingly simple plot and turned it into something really special. Even though this is a sequel to another book, I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything as the author has explained the story of the first book in the preface, so I really appreciated it (And would like to thank author Craig for it.)
I would strongly recommend this book to New Adult and Women’s Contemporary Fiction readers. And also to those readers who like reading about travelling and especially if you are a Francophile (like me) you will love this book!
Author: Debbie Ann Ice Release Date: 22nd April 2021 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Satire Series: Format: E-book Pages: 272 pages Publisher: Bedazzled Ink Publisher, LLC Blurb: It’s the year 20-something—a changed yet still complacent America—and Lorraine Mulderon is mad. She’s mad that dying fish litter the shores of her small Connecticut coastal town. She’s mad birds seem to be dying, possibly indirectly related to fish deaths. She’s still mad about a wave of crow deaths over a decade ago. But, mostly, Lorraine is mad at the lack of madness.
She makes speeches. She phones lazy, and now corrupt, legislators. She is ignored. What has happened to passion? What has happened to our country? And now, what has happened to Lorraine? Lorraine disappears during a protest march. Her daughter, Haley, writes a letter to the world explaining her mother—someone who confronts grief and tragedy the only way she knows how and has depended upon those who tenderly watch over her—her daughter, certain friends, and a flock of blue jays. However, as the blue jays reveal, Lorraine is not so tenderly watched over by the forces working against her. It’s a dark future and our nation has normalized tragedy; however, DEAD FISH touches upon these intense themes with hope and humor.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Dead Fish And What the Blue Jays Know by Debbie Ann Ice is a beautiful book about passion, love and loyalty. When I started reading this book, I wasn’t really sure what it was about and if I was going to like it much, but only a couple of pages into the story and I knew that it was going to be a great read. And to my utter satisfaction, it turned out to be that and so much more.
This book not only has a well-written plot but the concept itself is really good and necessary in its own right. I loved the characters and was able to connect and relate to them. The pacing and tension are apt and compliment the story beautifully.
I really enjoyed reading this emotional, at times funny and beautiful read and would definitely recommend it to readers of literary and women’s fiction.
Author: Deepthi Ayyagari Release Date: 20th May 2019 Genre: Women Fiction, Contemporary Fiction Series: Edition: E-book Pages: 144 Publisher: Blurb: ‘Brinda’ will draw you in bit-by-bit to experience an extraordinary story; for there will always be secret-lives we will never know about, but are free to glimpse through the ‘reel’.
This is Brinda’s story–she was thrown into the local MLA’s house for servitude by the intertwining of her poor family’s greed and a quirk of fate. As she began a new chapter in her life with great anticipation of a financially secure future, fate held darker challenges for her to overcome.
The MLA’s son, Virender, was prying on her blossoming youth. She knew she was sought, and she knew she was bought. As Payal, her only friend in the palatial bungalow plotted her escape, she was not sure if she should go–they both knew some dark and tightly held secrets of the house, and she knew the implications of an escape for herself, and more so, for Payal.
Will Brinda leave or stay on to be exploited? Knowing what could shape out of even the slightest slip, will Brinda take the plunge, or will she resign herself to her fate and wait for what’s in store?
In this intriguing plot filled with choosing between two equally hazardous courses, what does Brinda choose? And what will be the outcome of that choice? WHAT SHOULD BE ONE’S STAND WHEN DOOM AWAITS IN THE ONLY TWO DIRECTIONS TO TAKE?
Brinda -The Extraordinary Story of An Indian Girl (Femme Fatale) by Deepthi Ayyagari is a beautifully written and well-plotted story about a girl named Brinda who has to go through a lot before emerging as a much stronger variant of herself. This story was both, compelling as well as endearing.
The writing, as I mentioned, was good, the characterisation was on point and the story was paced evenly, overall making it a strong read. This is my 3rd book by the author and so far the best one by her, so I was very glad I read this book.
What I loved most about this book was that it offers something that our society needs desperately these days – women empowerment without the pretention of feminism. I have nothing against feminists and feminism whatsoever, but I do have a problem with pseudo-feminists who, by the masses, corrupt the entire movement altogether. I believe in an egalitarian society so I am always in favour of women empowerment and this book is all about showcasing the strength of women. And that is where it scores the brownie points. All this while keeping in mind that the book didn’t feel like it was written with any kind of agenda in mind.
I’d recommend this book to all women’s fiction readers and to everyone who enjoys reading contemporary fiction in general. This book would also make a good read for both feminists as well as the feminazis 😉
Author: Karma Brown Release Date: 12th July 2016 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction Series: Edition: e-book Pages: 316 Publisher: Mira Blurb: Hannah and Kate became friends in the fifth grade, when Hannah hit a boy for looking up Kate’s skirt with a mirror. While they’ve been close as sisters ever since, Hannah can’t help but feel envious of the little family Kate and her husband, David, have created—complete with two perfect little girls.She and Ben have been trying for years to have a baby, so when they receive the news that she will likely never get pregnant, Hannah’s heartbreak is overwhelming. But just as they begin to tentatively explore the other options, it’s Kate’s turn to do the rescuing. Not only does she offer to be Hannah’s surrogate, but Kate is willing to use her own eggs to do so.Full of renewed hope, excitement and gratitude, these two families embark on an incredible journey toward parenthood…until a devastating tragedy puts everything these women have worked toward at risk of falling apart. Poignant and refreshingly honest, The Choices We Make is a powerful tale of two mothers, one incredible friendship and the risks we take to make our dreams come true.
The Choices We Make by Karma Brown is a beautiful, heart-warming and very memorable read about friendships, husband-wife relationships and the unpredictability of life.
This book is one of those books that always stays with the reader. I believe Contemporary Women’s Fiction as a genre has a lot of potential and when the books in this genre are paired with excellent writing, a strong and unyielding plotline and powerful and believable characters, they transform into magic. This book had all these things and so much more. I loved the dialogues in this book a lot because they were good and as a result, each and every conversation felt real. For me, this was the strongest aspect fo this book.
The second best thing about this book was the writing – clean, crisp and clear. As a result, the book felt like a very easy and quick read (something that I always appreciate.) The writing had a very smooth air about it and flowed beautifully complementing this beautiful story. The pacing was spot-on and the tension perfect.
I was totally blown away when the main turning point of the story came; I was left gasping for breath, literally. I did not expect it and it totally broke my heart. It took me a while to digest what actually happened and all the while I kept wishing for it to somehow get undone, but then when it did not, I found myself struggling to grasp what was actually happening just like the characters in the novel. I mean, one thing you know you love a character and then the next thing you know something very bad has happened to them and you totally did not see it coming (I’m remembering Ned Stark’s execution in the first book itself… god! it still hurts!) After having read a lot of books you come to a point where hardly anything surprises you. But this book made me feel emotions I forgot having felt for a long time. This book made me feel like a first time reader who got involved in a book so much that even after having finished the book I am not able to forget the characters.
I’m cutting back 1/2 a star because the author left me sleepless for a couple of nights with such a tragic ending (I hate you for it, Karma Brown, but I love you for writing this book!) I’m sure as hell reading other books by the author. And I’d recommend it to all the readers who have a hunger for really good stories but won’t mind reading about issues related to surrogacy or pregnancy.
Author: Katherine Center Release Date: 15th May 2018 Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction Series: Edition: E-book Pages: 320 Publisher: St. Martin’s Press Blurb: From the author of Happiness for Beginners comes an unforgettable love story about finding joy even in the darkest of circumstances. Margaret Jacobsen is just about to step into the bright future she’s worked for so hard and so long: a new dream job, a fiancé she adores, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in a brief, tumultuous moment.
In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Maggie must confront the unthinkable. First there is her fiancé, Chip, who wallows in self-pity while simultaneously expecting to be forgiven. Then, there’s her sister Kit, who shows up after pulling a three-year vanishing act. Finally, there’s Ian, her physical therapist, the one the nurses said was too tough for her. Ian, who won’t let her give in to her pity, and who sees her like no one has seen her before. Sometimes the last thing you want is the one thing you need. Sometimes we all need someone to catch us when we fall. And sometimes love can find us in the least likely place we would ever expect. How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best—a masterpiece of a novel that is both hopeful and hilarious; truthful and wise; tender and brave.
Praise for How to Walk Away:
“A heartbreak of a novel that celebrates resilience and strength.” —Jill Santopolo, bestselling author of The Light We Lost
“If you just read one book this year, read How to Walk Away.” —Nina George, New York Times bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop
“Warm, witty, and wonderfully observed.” —Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of First Comes Love“Sympathetic and refreshing!” —Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of The Family Man
“I can’t think of a blurb good enough for this novel…poignant, funny, heartbreaking.” —Jenny Lawson, bestselling author ofFuriously Happy
How To Walk Away by Katherine Center is a beautiful book about loss, love, courage and hope that has a lot to offer to its readers apart from an exceptional story.
I am so glad that I read this book! It is a really, really good book and has taught me a lot of things about forgiveness – which definitely doesn’t come easy, loss – which does hurt a lot, and hope – which, even though difficult to hold onto, can turn around one’s life.
This book had a delightful mixture of a well thought-out storyline, a string of not only believable and realistic but also very relatable characters, very engaging yet simple writing with an exceptional sense of humour and an excellent ending.
What I really loved about this book was that the author didn’t sugarcoat things, she put things forward the way they are in real life, but she did it so without being overdramatic. I generally shy away from reading books with illness/medical situations because most of the authors present the pain in such horrific (sometimes honest, sometimes not) details and the overall experiences, more often than not, leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth. That said, if done right, these books are nothing short of magic because they have a lot of lessons and takeaways along with a good story (which, as a reader, is always the main thing for me.) For example, I loved John Green’s The Fault In Our Stars, but I didn’t really like Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything.
I’d recommend this book not only to all the contemporary fiction readers but to anyone and everyone who wants to read a really, really good book.
Author: Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj Release Date: 12th December 2017 Genre: Women’s Fiction, Indian Literature, Historical Fiction Series: Edition: Paperback Pages: 302 Publisher: Notion Press Blurb:
When a marriage proposal from a much married 30 year old Raghavenrda for 12 year old Krishnaa comes knocking on the door of Gundappa Chowltry, life takes on a dramatic turn for Krishnaa. An official bride-seeing ceremony and a quick peek at the bridegroom seals things and before long Krishnaa finds herself embarking on her new journey with her new husband-a man she barely knows, to the temple town of Kumbakonam. What lies in store for Krishnaa in her new house as Raghavendra’s second wife? Where is Raghavendra’s first wife? Are Krishnaa’s dreams and desires fulfilled? What cards are dealt to Krishnaa by the hands of destiny?While tracing Krishnaa’s life journey from 1904 to the modern times, the book captures the soul of the Indian Joint family system, the customs and traditions, the love and laughter and the ever green human values. Set in the picturesque temple town of Kumbakonam, on the banks of river Cauvery, amidst the majestic Gopurams of Chakrapani and Sarangapani temples, the story of Krishnaa unfolds in all its colourful glory.
Krishnaa: Queen Bee Of No.8 West Iyen Street by Radhika Giridharan and Vidya Nagaraj is a very interesting take on marriage, in general, and the Indian joint-family system and its quirks.
This book was a welcome change from the western books I read, and as a bonus, it had a good story that was equal parts interesting and entertaining. I enjoyed reading this book a lot and I felt the joy that I always feel while watching Rajshee films (which are famous Bollywood movies based on Indian joint-families and are about Indian traditions and belief-system.)
The characterization was great, the writing was good and overall the book was a quick and easy read. The story had quite a few turns that made it very enjoyable and the authors’ ability to not go melodramatic over issues like child-marriage and second marriage is really commendable.
Overall, it was a nice read and if you are an Indian or an Indian culture enthusiast, then you should definitely consider reading this book.