Top 10 Women’s Fiction

The top 10 women’s fiction from the last 12 months (reviewed in Booklist between March 15, 2012, and March 1, 2013) cover the spectrum: chick lit to tearjerkers, heavy issues to lighthearted comedy. One of the main appeal factors of this category 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.

From our friends at Booklistonline.com

ArrangedArranged. By Catherine McKenzie. 2012. Morrow, $14.99 (9780062115393).

An engagement announcement from her best friend drives Anne to contact a dating service, but she discovers that the company’s business turns out to be expensive arranged marriages. Chick lit for real women, featuring a smart, competent heroine.

 
 

The Cottage at Glass Beach. By Heather Barbieri. 2012. Harper, $24.99 (9780062107961).

After a sex scandal, Nora leaves her politician husband and takes her daughters to New England to escape from it all. Long-dormant family secrets and a touch of the paranormal make the vacation more than she bargained for.

 
 

The Girl on the Cliff. By Lucinda Riley. 2012. Atria, $15 (9781451655827).

Longing to escape her troubles, Grania travels to her family’s home in Ireland and meets an unusual young girl. Redemption and new opportunities emerge.

 
 
 

Here I Go Again. By Jen Lancaster. 2013. NAL, $25.95 (9780451236722).

When former mean girl Lissy attends her high-school reunion, she finds that her schoolmates are still smarting from the wounds she inflicted on them. Earth-mother Deva offers a solution: drink a potion that will send her back to the past to right previous wrongs.

 
 

Keepsake

Keepsake. By Kristina Riggle. 2012. Morrow, $14.99 (9780062003072).

Trish thinks of herself as just a distracted, messy housekeeper—but when her young son suffers a broken collarbone, Child Protective Services comes calling, forcing her to deal with the fact that she is a hoarder.

 
 

The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service. By Beth Kendrick. 2012. NAL, $15 (9780451236661).

As cofounder of the Lucky Dog rescue group, Lara is known for being able to perfectly match up a canine with the right owner. But committing to a man is a completely different matter.

 
 
 

The Next Best Thing. By Jennifer Weiner. 2012. Atria, $26.99 (9781451617757).

Smart and solitary Ruth, an L.A. screenwriter, has a sitcom in production, but it’s getting derailed at every turn, from bad casting to bawdy rewrites. Weiner gives Ruth real heart and soul (and some nifty sex scenes to boot).

 
 

So Far Away. By Meg Mitchell Moore. 2012. Little, Brown, $25.99 (9780316097697).

Kathleen, a library archivist, finds an unlikely connection to Natalie, a high-school student who needs help researching an old diary for a school project. Moore not only relays the affecting relationship between student and mentor but also tells the compelling story of the diarist.

 
 

Tapestry of FortunesTapestry of Fortunes. By Elizabeth Berg. Apr. 2013. Random, $26 (9780812993141).

Motivational speaker Cecilia is great at coaching others but unable to follow her own advice. When she receives a postcard out of the blue from her one true love, she realizes it’s time take a chance.

 
 

You Are the Love of My Life. By Susan Richards Shreve. 2012. Norton, $25.95 (9780393082807).

Lucy, a children’s book illustrator and single mother of two, abruptly decides to uproot her family and move from New York to the house where she grew up. Shreve handles complex themes of identity, privacy, and commitment with finesse and insight.

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