A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Expanding over several decades this story focuses on two women, Laila and Mariam. Mariam faces stigma of being an illegitimate child and abuse throughout her marriage. Laila gets pregnant from her soulmate and later loses him. Mariam and her husband care for her. Later Mariam's husband asks Laila to marry him. Laila and Mariam both continue to survive in a country that wishes they didn't exist, all while trying to survive abuse from their husband.
The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
In 19th-century Ireland, a nurse is hired to watch a girl on a suspicious religious fast. The girl is said to survive for months without food, but the nurse later finds herself trying to save her life. Tourists flock to the cabin of the girl who believes herself to be living off manna from heaven, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is also hired to keep watch over the girl.
Under The Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
This is the first in a series of three Tuscan memoirs by Frances Mayes. In this memoir, Frances Mayes recounts the purchase of her home, Bramasole in Tuscany. When Ms. Mayes bought this home, it had been neglected for more than thirty years and was in desperate need of remodeling and renovations. Ms. Mayes recounts the adventures that she and Ed, her husband, have while renovating the house and working in its gardens all while enjoying the sights and food of Tuscany.
Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan
This is divided into two major stories. The first is the story of Ruth, an American-born Chinese woman, a ghostwriter for self-help books, in a relationship with a white man, stepmother to his two teenaged daughters. As well as the daughter of LuLing, who Ruth fears is becoming demented.
French War Bride by Robin Wells
At her assisted living center in Wedding Tree, Louisiana, 93 year-old Amélie O’Connor is in the habit of leaving her door open for friends. One day she receives an unexpected visitor—Kat Thompson, the ex-fiancée of her late husband, Jack. Kat and Jack were high school sweethearts who planned to marry when Jack returned after World War II. But in a cruel twist of fate, their plans were derailed when a desperate French girl overheard an American officer’s confession in a Parisian church. Now Kat wants to know the truth behind a story that’s haunted her whole life. Finding out how Amélie stole Jack’s heart, she believes will finally bring her peace. As Amélie recalls the dark days of the Nazi occupation of Paris, The French War Bride reveals how history shapes the courses of our lives for better or for worse. I really, really want to read this book, someone should totally send it to me.
Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Story begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about a girl in Sudan in 2008 and a boy in Sudan in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, (refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay.) They endure every hardship from loneliness to being attacked by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing way.
Playing for the Devils Fire by Phillippe Diederich
Thirteen-year-old Boli and his friends are deep in the middle of a game of marbles. An older boy named Mosca has won the prized Devil’s Fire marble. His pals are jealous and want to win it away from him. This is Izayoc, the place of tears, a small pueblo in a tiny valley west of Mexico City where nothing really happens. It’s a typical hot Sunday morning except that on the way to church, someone discovers the severed head of Enrique Quintanilla propped on the ledge of one of the cement planters in the plaza and everything changes. Boli’s parents leave for Toluca and never arrive at their destination. No one will talk about it. A washed out masked wrestler turns up one day. Boli hopes to inspire the luchador to set out with him to find his parents.
Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson
In "Miss Buncle's Book" by D. E. Stevenson a woman, Barbara Buncle, takes up writing with the hope that it will bring income. Her novel, written under the pseudonym "John Smith," is a thinly veiled, satirical depiction of her hometown, Silverstream. Her novel, "Disturber of the Peace," becomes a bestseller once the villagers in Silverstream realize that the villagers in the fictional Copperfield are modeled after themselves, and are not always a flattering portrait of the citizens. The novel is handed to the London publisher Arthur Abbott, and he does not know what to make of it. He invites "John Smith" in for a meeting and is shocked to see that it is a woman, Barbara Buncle.
Secret Healer by Ellin Carsta
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen finds her calling as an assistant to the city’s trusted midwife, Clara. Working alongside Clara, Madlen develops a surprisingly soothing technique and quickly becomes a talented healer. After Clara’s tragic death, Madlen alone rushes to assist the birth of a local nobleman’s child. But rather than the joy of birth, Madlen walks into an accusation of murder and witchcraft because of her gift. Forced to flee her own home, she establishes a new identity in the home of her aunt. Yet even though it endangers her life, she cannot resist the urge to help the sick patients who seek out her miraculous gift for treatment. When she meets handsome Johanne, an investigator hired by the Church to bring her to justice for sacrilegious act, she later becomes drawn to the very man who could destroy her.
Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
Alaska, 1920 is a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he's breaking under the weight of the work of the farm and she's crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the wilderness of Alaska. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand Faina, who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. In this beautiful but violent place, things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.