I was fascinated by Libby Copeland’s account of what happens when you swab your cheek or spit in a vial and send it for DNA testing. Many who participate are interested in their ancestral heritage. Some are looking to see if they have a genetic risk. And then there are other ramifications - a whole new family. Using investigative techniques and following one woman’s experience, Copeland provides an exploration of the science, genealogy and mystery that DNA testing provides.
I was surprised to learn four million Columbians live outside Columbia. This novel, through a chorus of voices, tells the story of just one young family who face the difficult decision to leave their war-torn homeland to seek a better life in the US. Every day brings regrets and doubts, questioning whether they have made the right choice. This skillfully written novel reminded me of the courage and fortitude it takes to uproot from the familiar. When I closed the cover, I asked myself, “What would I do to protect my family and seek a better way of life?”
At the center of this novel is the marriage of Annie and Graham, but each major character is given their due in this story of grief, motherhood, and friendship. Many questions of aging, ambition, and sacrifice lingered in my mind as the story of this second marriage for both Annie and Graham is intimately examined through exquisite writing and meticulously developed characters. These characters are our friends, neighbors, and family, and by the close of the novel, I felt a depth of emotion for all of them, not only in their triumphs but also their faults.
This beautifully written, poignant novel about a dark time in history really touched my heart. In WWII Poland, a Jewish mother, Roza, with her 5-year-old daughter Shira, seeks shelter in a countryside barn after her husband and parents are killed by the Nazis. Shira, a precocious child and musical prodigy, creates a make-believe world where a yellow bird and her mother are her only companions. In this heartwarming and heart-wrenching story, silence, music, and a mother’s love become the symbols of hope and survival.
In honor of our co-founder, Harriet Williams, Literary Women Committee created the Emerging Writer Program to focus on our mission to support and encourage new writers of talent and promise. We are proud of the outstanding young women who have participated over the years and invite you to view this years selection.