Tag Archive: women’s fiction



The Tea Girl of Hummingbird LaneThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I would gladly give this book 5 stars. But making poor people (the Kindle version is $12.99!) and/or those with vision problems to buy the audio-book ($19.99) is just plain greedy! Sure the Audible version helps the reader know how certain words are pronounced. And the narrators are very good. And (although I had to wait until I had a credit over there) it was ‘free’ on Audible. I could have had that Kindle version back to the library earlier had I been able to listen to a Text-to-Speech as I read. All that inconvenience and not being able to save my credit for something else I was planning on, should actually lower my rating. But, doggone it! This was a fantastic book! Please, dear author (Lisa See), since the book is about poor people and their struggles, consider the struggles of those who can’t afford to buy your book and or have vision problems!

Gripe ended. The book was so good that I didn’t want to stop reading it for anything! I loved the amount of research the author put into the whole story. And yet I didn’t feel inundated with information. It all felt quite naturally a part of the tale.

It is told mostly from Li-yan’s point of view in a minority village of China. Later her daughter, Haley’s, point of view as an orphan in Orange County, California. What is genetic, instinct, or just natural curiosity? In a culture discouraging more than one child and girls the least desirable, what are the results on those poor girls sent away? What happens to the country that makes that happen? What are the results for the family or parents that are forced into this kind of situation?

These questions are answered. AND you will learn more about tea than you may ever want to know but find yourself longing to know more!

It has been over a week since I finished reading/listening to this gem. I still miss the characters and wish I knew what happened next. I doubt there is a second book in the making. The book leaves you just wishing for more. If you can get the book or audio recording, I think you will like it! Thank you, Leslie, for recommending it!

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Everything I Never Told YouEverything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! Just Wow! An author friend recommended this book stating that it was the best book she’d read in a long time. She was right. It was the best read for me in a long, long time.

There was a drowning. The family responds. That’s the extent of it. BUT we are allowed in all the characters’ heads. What led to the present moment? Who can take the fault? Who might be innocent?

This bit of mystery only leads to the inside of your own head, your own family history. It is amazing how the author does that. How she keeps the story so interesting that I had a hard time putting it down, even when it was 4 AM I couldn’t let it go until the next day.

The most interesting questions the story brought to mind is how many of our goals and passions are leftovers from the previous generation? I made me look at my grandmother and my mother and my own daughter. And even now, I wonder how much of my mother’s pushing of piano practice, for instance, brought about my son’s participation in a band? How do our personal goals affect others around us, from family outward to the occasional associates. This book brought about a strong link between us all that I think we often overlook.

And then let’s add to the story the things that make us unique, our nationality, ethics, religion or politics and we see how we think the other person is wrong. How the tearing down of others is tearing us all down. In this case, the family is half Chinese, half American. They live in a place where they are the only ones of color. Racist slurs are slung at them. When that happens, when we are bullies in any fashion, one has a hard time separating true hate from imagined hate.

As usual, the fictional family reach their own conclusions and don’t communicate with each other. That speaks to me. We often forget to say what we should. We think the other person already knows, or doesn’t need to hear it again, or doesn’t feel taken seriously. Relationships are hard, even the best of them. That’s how our fears and hurts hit as bullets on those we should give our best to.

All of these ideas came to me as I read this book. I bought the Audible version (I had a credit lying around). I know now that I want to read this again. I will have to buy the Kindle version when I get the chance. Oh, and a word about Cassandra Campbell (Narrator). She did a great job acting out the different characters. It was due to her skills that this book came to life for me.

Thank you, Patty B. for the recommendation. I loved it!

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The GoddessesThe Goddesses by Swan Huntley

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Y A W N! Think nearly break your jaw joints! And what a shame! The description made it sound like fun women finding their inner goddesses. I think their inner goddesses fled mid-book. I thought with this ‘new start’ taking place in Hawaii it would at least give scenery and traditions and history a good read.

Alas. No. There were nods but not enough to make up for the lack of character development or plot with any interesting thing happening.

I started to love the yoga instructor, but she wasn’t allowed her own reigns. She seemed to have something going but how she would choose that boring housewife to hang with was beyond me. Neither women grew, at all. And the ending was so disappointing. It felt like the author didn’t want the story to be told the way it wanted so she forced the story into strange convolutions.

The only thing I like about this book is its title and description. Too bad it didn’t live up to either.

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Gods in AlabamaGods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A friend recommended this a while back. Our library finally had it on Kindle so I could read it. It was a fast read as the author kept me engaged.

On the tags, I have murder-mystery but it really isn’t a mystery. As you read, you may think you know what all happened but so much gets revealed at the end, keep reading!

I love that I got a little road trip from the main characters. But knowing that judgmental possibly bigoted family members wait at the end of the trip. And as we all know, you can never go back home. What you get is a new family with old themes and mysteries of the past that have never resolved.

This is a good read. It would be great for book clubs as there are many topics to be explored here. If you get the chance, read it!

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The Mother's PromiseThe Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maybe if I don’t write a review, I can hang onto the charms and lessons of this book. No. That’s not right. Others need to read it and the only way to hang on to the knowledge in this book is to read it again.

I finished this book four days ago. That’s how long I had the above conversation with myself.

There is a nice blurb about this book on GoodReads. And the one on NetGalley had me seeking it out. I’m glad they let me read it. But here’s my blurb: A young teen with severe social anxiety only child of a single mother dying of cancer, a social worker who is a victim of abuse, a nurse who is finished with IVF unsuccessfully.

Sally Hepworth pulls these four females into a book that is hard to put down and hard to leave behind. And not only is it a great story, it is full of real life answers to some of the problems these fems deal with.

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this, again. I do plan on a second read. Please read it, especially if you have social anxiety, there are some good ideas in here and the author shows she knows how we feel who have it. There are triggers for cancer patients and abuse victims but they are handled well and give each of the other characters more depth.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds (The Malayan Series)The Woman Who Breathed Two Worlds by Selina Siak Chin Yoke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book. At first, I got mad at the ancient order of things where females were worthless and could only hope to marry well. But keep reading. The main character grows on you. By the end, I was crying for her. I’d say more but–spoilers!

I hope I can read the rest of the series.

The book is about seeing the world through another woman’s eyes as she grows through her life. I love reading about other cultures. Though we have many differences, the female experience is what we have in common. Some of that we humans need to work on, but some of it is unique to being a woman.

This version was courtesy of NetGalley. Thank you for letting me read this!

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Serious Leigh (Literal Leigh Romance Diaries, #2)Serious Leigh by Melanie James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is such a fun series! I barely finished reading book one that I grabbed the next one and started reading. There are many laugh-out-loud moments with this witch in training. Leigh, her cursed writing desk and her very familiar, marvelous cat, Luna, find ways to have adventures no one had thought would happen in the life of an author. Writing after all is a lonely, boring life. Right? Not for this newbie witch.

These are quick reads but don’t feel like short stories. They are layered with full characters and a world that melds the real, current world with a few fantasy yet historic realms thrown in. Each book is based on the last but has its own personality.

I picked up the first book and this book for free. Now I have to find a few pennies ($2.99) to get the next book, so it may take a while before I get to read the rest of the series. But I will after the move is completed and I am bored–probably in the coming winter. That will add some light to my frozen life ahead.

Please give these a try. You might like them, too.

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Accidental Leigh (Literal Leigh Romance Diaries, #1)Accidental Leigh by Melanie James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I guess I’m in a mood for these lighter-weight books. Maybe because my mind is working on the move and all that entails. So, yes, another silly, fun book. It had me laughing out loud. Premise? A wannabe writer wants a desk to get in the mood. The desk is cursed. Everything written on it comes true. And as we writers know, the easiest thing to write is erotica. But oops–a lot! The first couple to fall under a curse–oh, shoot, I feel that would be cheating if I told you. Needless to say, it starts out hilarious and keeps going.

Now it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger. It isn’t that kind of book. But it does make you want more. SO I am already about halfway finished with the next book. If you don’t mind, and maybe even like a little erotica, these books are for you. The situations Leigh gets herself into will keep you laughing and or wishing(?). Everyone needs a light read every now and then.

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I Have PeopleI Have People by Taylor Dean

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Now, that’s unusual, you might be saying. Dar is giving a romance novel five stars. Yep. I am. That is because this is a cautionary tale of what all those romantic ideals can hand those who are blind in their love for the romantic partner. Notice, I said partner. Notice I didn’t just identify this as a fem issue. I realize that there are relationships of all kinds where one partner uses the other for a punching ball physically and or mentally. That is NOT love, folks.

Let me take a moment out to warn those with PTSD who have been in bad relationships, this book does have triggers. Even so, if you can live past them there are lessons to be learned here. Granted the outcome is much better than most real life situations might have. It is fiction after all.

BUT climb into the mind of the intelligent yet emotionally unstable young woman, Holly Sinclair. That is what Taylor Dean, the author, did quite well. I, personally, recognized many of Holly’s thoughts. These are the thoughts romanticized in many young adult/romance novels. They are angsty. At least Ms. Dean gave Holly a narrative of conflicting thoughts that rationalize both the healthy thoughts and the not so healthy ones. That gives the person who may be going through this additional thoughts to play out in their own minds. Remember, survival is more important than dead or maiming done in the name of ‘love’.

The most important lesson of this book is in the title: I Have People. The most important thing a person who is being abused needs to know is that they have people. To go find help. Pride be damned. Safety is more important. And though the women’s shelter was an option in the book that was tossed aside, I have known friends that gained a lot by going to the shelter and learning new ways to live their lives.

Meanwhile, for the rest of us who have relative safety around us, BE THE PEOPLE. As those around Holly notice and gracefully befriended her and drew her into safety. We need to be that kind of friends. Don’t hide from this situation. Do what you can to help make the abused person safe.

What I didn’t like was the lack of help for the abuser. I know he chose his own way, but we need as a society to find ways to recognize these people and bring them to re-education in places that keep others safe from them while they get the help they need, nonnegotiable help.

This is a social issue. The book should bring up discussion. Even so, it was a very good book that I couldn’t stop reading. It was well after 5 AM when I was finally able to go to sleep. The other caution. Smile. From about 50% in make sure to give yourself a chance to take care of yourself. It gets heavy!

Oh, I won this book initially in a contest held by the author. I picked it up on Smashwords then promptly forgot I had it. Sorry. Then I saw it as a freebie on Kindle. Picked it up. And to show how mixed up I really am, I read this on my MoonReader Pro because I could use its text-to-speech on my tablet in the dark. Soon I will be able to read these on my new Fire which has that feature. Can’t wait for that to get here! Anyway, the book is $2.99 on Smashwords and $3.99 on Amazon. Well worth the price! Sorry, Ms. Dean, for getting to it so late.

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