Women’s fiction books recommendations are contemporary, ranging from non-typical or subversive romance to spiritual to lady lit. The novels include inspirational, domestic, marriage and divorce fiction, friendship fiction, sister relationships, lesbian fiction, women’s issues, mother and children, women of a certain age and more. Book list and slideshow are below, see them now….
What are women’s fiction books by definition?
- Women’s fiction books are usually written by women, for women.
- They are based on the motivation of women’s issues and personal drama.
- Most often, women’s fiction is written sans the typical romance.
- Even without this typical romance, these novels are seldom read by men.
- Women’s fiction books are almost always contemporary, given they are not in a genre such as Regency, historical, romance, supernatural, fantasy, horror or mystery.
- Personal and career drama, environmental issues and political activism are tempered with the distinctive ways the protagonist deals with challenges and self realization.
The main foundation is a lack of foundation formula in women’s fiction books.
Being a no-formula genre, women’s fiction runs wild and I love it. Happily ever after is beside the point. If there is a hero at all, he – or she – is a non-typical hunk with personal drama of his or her own and would seldom be a hero in the romantic fiction genre.
Personal drama guides the story.
The personal drama in women’s fiction involves close personal relationships, such as friendship and sister relationships, mothers and children, domestic life, marriage, divorce, widowhood, death, recovery, coming of age as women over a certain age, and self realization. Sometimes the futility of human relationships in women’s fiction is so consuming there is no humor or hope. We realize that climate of storytelling is awarded in novels by male authors, and, here at least, is also applauded as fine storytelling within the women’s fiction genre.
Women fiction books and their readers are mesmerized by the life journey . . .
- Life is not necessarily happily ever after.
- Relationships can bury a person.
- People can break people.
- Even children die.
- Some people have little courage, even when they need it.
- Advocacy for a cause does not mean we get what we need.
- Dreams are often lost and never found.
- Goals are never set in stone.
- Some hearts never recover.
Is this pessimism? Reality? A desire for a truly responsive read? Maturity of age?
To have this realization does not mean there is not hope or humor to life, that writing falls flat and purposeless.
Women’s fiction books . . .
For me, as an author and reader whose favorite genre has always been women’s fiction, this is a reflection of women learning to breathe with life. Remember the book and movie, Waiting to Exhale. What a title! Even when life is not always about the men.
Life is about breathing, dreaming and dying.
Women – me too, I admit it – we hold our breath. . .
In women’s fiction novels, the characters at the forefront learn to breathe. They exhale. They grow, they become anew as they bend with life.
What makes their journey interesting is the lack of formula.
The surprise for a reader to realize their character has what? Found a lost child, healed an emotional wound with a nonprofit advocacy, taken in a bevy of strangers who become their family, sold everything and bought into a commune lifestyle, walked away from a marriage only to return with a solid identity. Faced a burning home and decided it wasn’t real anyway. Is called by sacred contract to be a dreamer to help people. Lost the nanny and the husband and grieves the nanny. Confronts widowhood with their hell on wheels spirit. A woman decides to retire rom marriage and arranged a concubine for her husband. It’s all in there, in the women’s fiction novels.
Women’s fiction is a face-off with reality where reader speculation of endings has changed. And their relationships with the writers of women’s fiction is more reality-based, in my opinion.
I look forward to readers and other authors sharing book suggestions for the categories below, even your own novels. Just use the comment box. Also, you are welcome to email me using the grey envelope.
Author, Women’s Fiction Blog