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Women's Fiction Book Reviews

Find below the books we've reviewed in this genre.

A Century-Long, Chicken-Fueled Family Feud Takes Center Stage in KJ Dell’Antonia’s ‘The Chicken Sisters’
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:03 am

For more than a century the Moore and the Pogociello families have been at war. A chicken war. Chicken Mimi’s and Chicken Frannie’s are two similar fried chicken eateries set up by sisters in the late 19th century in the small town of Merinac, Kansas. In KJ Dell’Antonia’s The Chicken Sisters, this long-held rivalry, passed down through generations, will be played out on the television show Food Wars for everyone to see, now that Amanda, a descendant of Mimi’s, has signed both restaurants up for...

Melissa Broder Explores the Forbidden Joy of Indulgence in Her Latest Novel, ‘Milk Fed’
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 14th, 2022 2:33 am

When we first meet Rachel in Melissa Broder’s Milk Fed, she’s counting calories with fussy meticulosity. She follows a strict food regimen to maintain what she considers her perfect weight and perfect look. If she goes over her allotted calorie count, she’ll have to run extra hard on the elliptical machine or limit herself to a couple of power bars for lunch and maybe a piece of nicotine gum for dessert. Rachel can’t help it, though. She’s the product of her overbearing mother’s conditioning, a...

Alison McGhee’s ‘The Opposite of Fate’ Plunges Fearlessly Into the Core of the Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life Debate
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 24th, 2022 9:52 pm

It’s a question that’s been asked since the debate for and against abortion came into existence: Would you give birth to your rapist’s baby? This is the exact inquiry Alison McGhee raises in her latest novel, The Opposite of Fate. However, McGhee shifts her scenario with a wild card: What if you were in a coma and couldn’t make the decision yourself? This is what happens to Mallie Williams in McGhee’s new novel. She’s a 23-year-old woman who is sexually assaulted one night and left for dead. Wit...

Becky Mandelbaum Uplifts and Brings Comfort in ‘The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals’
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 24th, 2022 9:56 pm

In Becky Mandelbaum’s The Bright Side Sanctuary for Animals, we’re introduced to Mona who runs The Bright Side, an animal sanctuary that’s seen better days, and her daughter Ariel, who, wanting more than just a farm life, ran away from it all six years ago, moving from St. Clare to Lawrence in Kansas. Mona and Ariel have been estranged for the entirety of those six years until a fire at The Bright Side — a hate crime committed by an old friend of Ariel’s — shows up in the news, and Ariel decides...

Elizabeth Gilbert’s ‘City of Girls’ Explores One Woman’s Journey from Shame to Self-Love
Reviewed By Maria Chance May 24th, 2022 10:11 pm

In City of Girls, Elizabeth Gilbert takes us back to the year 1940, introducing us to Vivian Morris, a girl whom most judgmental minds would find easy to label an airhead and a tramp. Vivian starts out with very little direction in her life. At the age of 19 she’s been kicked out of college for slacking and her days at home are mostly limited to bouncing a tennis ball against the walls of her parents’ house. Thus, fearing she will be lost forever, they send her off to Manhattan to live with her...

Caitlin Mullen’s ‘Please See Us’ Begs Us to Witness the Harsh Realities of Gender Inequality
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jun 8th, 2022 3:11 pm

Caitlin Mullen’s Please See Us paints a grim image of the struggles of Atlantic City, especially after Hurricane Sandy. In her new novel, she focuses particularly on the struggle of women trying to make a living within it. Clara is a 16-year-old, high-school-drop out. She lives with her aunt Des, who took her in after her mother left for California, abandoning her. Neither of them has any special skills except for pickpocketing and scamming customers. They run a small store on the boardwalk wher...

‘I Thought You Said This Would Work’ is Ann Garvin’s Comical and Perceptive Exploration of the Dynamics of Friendships
Reviewed By Maria Chance Jul 10th, 2022 3:29 am

When we first enter Ann Garvin’s I Thought You Said This Would Work, Samantha Arias’ best friend, Katie, is at the hospital getting blood work done, and it’s not looking good. Without missing a beat, Samantha runs to her friend’s side, but when she arrives there she has a most unpleasant surprise: her ex-best friend, Holly Dunfee, is already there. In spite of the gravity of Katie’s situation, Samantha can’t help but wonder whom she called first. After all, she was the one who was at her side te...