It's been 17 months since I posted my last Fiction for the Non-Fiction Reader. The time has come again. This is edition #XI (that's 11 for you Roman numeral-phobes). Let me point out a few features of this list. First of all, every author is female. There are quite a few titles that come under the genre literary or women's fiction (8). There are 3 that are historical fiction. And there is 1 that is #3 of a trilogy. The final one is culinary fiction (is there such a genre?). All of them are either 3.75 or 4.0 - except for 1. it's actually a 4.0+! You may have a tough time figuring out which one that is. And let me, once again, give a shout-out to Melissa Amster, who has fed me most of these books. I think 11 of the 13 were recommended by her! And there are a bunch not on this list that I still really liked (3.25s or 3.5s). I would like to point out that I (among others) recommended The Alice Network to Melissa. She liked it a whole lot. In fact, I have not spoken to one person who hasn't loved TAN. Read it, if you haven't already.
1. The Life Intended - Kristin Harmel. This is the 1st of 3 Harmels that I have read and placed on the list. It's the story of a woman who lost her husband 10 years earlier, has found love with another man, and, due to some dreams, among other things, is questioning her decision.
2. The Love Goddess' Cooking School - Melissa Senate. You get cooking classes, recipes, and some great interactions. It's not easy to combine all of these elements. But Melissa does a great job of doing just that.
3. The Secrets of Midwives - Sally Hepworth. Of the 4 books that Sally has written (she has a 5th coming out in late Spring!), 3 have made my list. And the 4th, The Family Next Door, just missed the cut. It was a 3.625/4. I know, I know. Pretty nitpicky. Secrets tells the story of 3 generations of midwives. I learned a lot without the author presenting the info in historical fiction form.
4. The Things We Keep - Sally Hepworth. In this powerful novel, Anna, a 38-year old woman, is placed in a residential home by her family because she is in the beginning stages of Alzheimers. While there, she falls in love with another resident, Luke, who is of a similar age. Then there's Elizabeth, the single mother who works there in a culinary capacity and who becomes involved in the relationship between Anna and Luke.
5. Close enough to Touch - Colleen Oakley. Jubilee has a rare disease where she can't be touched. Eric is a single father whose daughter won't talk to him. They come together at the library where Jubilee works. A very interesting concept done extremely well.
6. The Alice Network - Kate Quinn. TAN slides between WWI and 1947. It's the true story of a female spy network in Germany-occupied France that steals secrets from under the noses of the Germans and gets that info to Alice, who sends it on to her handlers. Great historical fiction that integrates a young girl looking for her cousin after WWII with a spy from WWI (and WWII). Super interesting.
7. The Room on Rue Amelie - Kristin Harmel. Here's another historical fiction about something that I absolutely knew nothing about. This one concerns a channel of safe houses in France during WWII that help downed British flyers get back home. This is way different than Kristin's other books.
8. +The Sweetness of Forgetting+ - Kristin Harmel. (Notice the asterisks?) This is some book. All I will tell you is that while reading the synopsis in order to give you a hint of what it's about, I got chills. Just read it please.
9. Still Me - Jojo Moyes. This is book 3 of the trilogy that started with Me Before You. I loved #1, liked #2 (After You), and loved #3. You may not remember, but her short story collection, Paris for One and Other Stories, is in FFTNFR, Volume X.
10. Limelight - Amy Poeppel. A family moves from Texas to New York City and, understandably, goes through some adjustments. In a strange turn of events, Allison (wife and mother) ends up involved in the management of Carter Reid, a teenager who VERY CLOSELY reminds us of Justin Bieber.
11. The Dream Daughter - Diane Chamberlain. Diane has written over 20 books. And I have read my 1st 2 in just the last couple of months. The 1st one, The Stolen Marriage, was a solid 3.5. This one is a 4.0. I want to tell you up front that a lot of this book centers on time travel. And you will absolutely believe that it's real (11/22/63 anyone?).
12. How to Walk Away - Katherine Center. Margaret is living a storybook life and is about to marry the man of her dreams...until a small plane accident changes everything. And I do mean everything. But, mostly, this book shows us what courage is all about.
13. Before We Were Yours - Linsa Wingate. This is the story of Rill who, at 12, becomes responsible for her 4 younger siblings as a very unethical adoption agency gets a hold of them. The year is 1939, and this is an adaptation of a true story set in Memphis, Tennessee. You will do a lot of head-shaking.
That's it for now. Stay tuned to FFTNFR, Volume X11...someday.