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When you’re looking for book recommendations, who better to give them than a literary agent? I love this list of books for women and hope that at least one of these books turns up in my stocking this year. All of these books have been published within 2017.
1. The Other Alcott by Elise Hooper
We all know Little Women was based on Louisa May Alcott’s sisters. Much is known about Louisa, and Jo who she modeled after herself. Now’s the time to learn about the sister, Amy, as based on – May Alcott. May had a stunning life in her own right. She turned down a proposal from a well-off suitor and traveled to Boston to join the ranks of the artists there. Thrusting herself into a male-dominated field wasn’t easy. Anyone will love finding May Alcott’s story under their tree.
2. Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Jules didn’t pick up the phone when her sister Nel called. She didn’t want to think of the place she had ran from and ignoring calls was the best way to forget the past. She shouldn’t have ignored this call. Her sister Nel is dead, they say she jumped, and Jules is dragged back to the place she fears most to care for a teenager her sister left behind. Jules knows Nel wouldn’t have jumped. She also knows to stay away from the water.
3. The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine
One of the best psychological thriller books of 2017. A young girl tired of being a nobody begins obsessing over the perfect rich couple with two perfect daughters. She uses their kindness to integrate her way into their life and begins living with them as family all the while getting closer to the husband. When the group takes a trip to Europe the interlopers past begins to shatter the plan she’s made. This is an edge of the seat thriller for all women who like intense books.
4. The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan
Not since The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has there been a book about Europe and the war this engaging. Why should the choir stop performing just because all the men are at war? Told in letters and journal entries this book about women defying their Vicar and taking the chance to sing is heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time.
5. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Pachinko is a generational story of one brave Korean family outcast from their own country. In the 1900s Sunja’s pregnancy threatens to shame her already impoverished family. A young minister with tuberculosis steps in and marries Sunja and takes her to Japan. The family is bound together through sorrow and hard-won triumphs. The root of their familial bond is love.
6. The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
Placidia isn’t prepared to run a 300-acre farm by herself when her new husband is called to the front lines of the Civil War. The teenager definitely isn’t prepared to care for the farm and his infant son he’s left behind. Whenhe eturns two years later, Placidia is on her way to jail for allegedly having a baby in his absence and murdering it. What happened during those two years? Based on a true story this novel delves deep into the racial issues of the Civil War and one teen’s struggle in these turbulent times.
7. The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz
Tiffany Reisz, an internationally bestselling author, has outdone herself in The Night Mark. Fans of Outlander will love this tale of widow, Faye, who can’t get over her husband’s death. To run from her grief, she accepts a photography job in South Carolina documenting the coast.While traveling the coast Faye becomes obsessed with the Bride Island Lighthouse and the legend of the Lady of Light – the keeper’s daughter who died in a drowning in 1921. Faye is whisked away by a rogue wave to 1921 where she finds love anew.
8. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
To escape the August heat a family drives to the top of mountain clearing to collect wood. Mom and dad chop and collect while two little girls drink lemonade and bicker about nothing. Something happens that will shake this family to the core. It’s so extreme the family shatters in every direction. The story is told in different perspectives and races along a razor-sharp plot.
9. A Tangled Mercy by Joy Jordan-Lake
Kate walks out on Harvard and her life in New England after learning about her troubled mother’s death. A Tangled Mercy is told in two points of view. Kate goes to Charleston to find clues to her mother’s life and death hoping to unearth her hidden family history. Two centuries earlier Tom, a slave and a blacksmith wrestles with the choice of giving weapons to the resistance.
10. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena
Karen and Tom have a textbook perfect life. One day, Tom comes home to find Karen missing and she’s taken nothing with her. It looks like she’s left in a rush. As he starts to panic, police come to take Tom to the hospital where Karen is being treated for a car accident that happened in the worst part of town. Karen can’t remember why she left or where she went, but on returning home she knows something is off. Something’s been moved. There’s been a stranger in her house.