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.
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.
As a woman with a close relationship to my sister, Moore threw me for an emotional loop during this suspenseful novel about drug addiction and the intense nature of family relationships. Mickey and Kacey’s choices were hard to imagine for my sister and I, but they expose the hard decisions and conversations that bubble up in every family. Actions have consequences that become more dramatic when a sibling is involved. By weaving these themes of family in with the gritty and depressing backdrop of Kacey’s world, I was transported to an alternate life and felt deeply empathetic towards the sisters and their struggle to survive despite their challenging circumstances.
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.
During this non-Festival year, Literary Women is thrilled to bring you outstanding authors in this virtual format. We are particularly grateful to Creating Conversations for making it happen. We hope that you will think of Creating Conversations when ever you are looking for a new book. Visit their full-service website and know that you honor us by your support.
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HARRIET WILLIAMS EMERGING WRITER PROGRAM
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.