All posts tagged: women

Chris Bohjalian talks with me about HOUR OF THE WITCH, how far–and yet so short–we’ve come in leveling the playing field of men & women, secondary characters, rescue dogs, more

By Leslie Lindsay A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ WeekEND Reading: Historical Fiction Spotlight An Indie Next Pick for May 2021 A Read It Forward Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A Lit Hub Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A CrimeReads Most Anticipated Book of 2021 I’ve been a longtime fan of Chris Bohjalian, ever since I read and loved MIDWIVES, so when HOUR OF THE WITCH (Doubleday, May 4 2021) came to my attention, I knew I couldn’t pass it by. A young Puritan woman caught in the crosshairs of religion, justice, and sexism in Boston during the 17th century. Mary Deerfield left England years ago with her parents, Priscilla and James, embarking on a new world, one in which religious and mercantile freedom were promised. Mary soon marries Thomas, a second marriage for him, her first. They have a stable home, his work at a sawmill provides most comforts of the day, including a servant girl. All is well–except for …

Edgy & LUMINOUS, a twisted tale of love, friendship, art, & so much more in this hot debut–luster–by Raven Leliani

By Leslie Lindsay  Luminous and edgy, LUSTER is a raw examination of friendship, sex, intimacy, art, and more. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ February Spotlight: Women Writers of Color A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEARA BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR, O Magazine, Vanity Fair, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, Shondaland, The New York Times Book Review, Boston Globe, Buzzfeed, Kirkus, Time, Good Housekeeping, InStyle, The Guardian, Literary Hub, Electric Literature, Self, The New York Public Library, Town & Country, Wired, Boston.com, Happy Mag, New Statesman, Vox, Shelf Awareness, Chatelaine, The Undefeated, Apartment Therapy, Brooklyn Based, The End of the World Review, Exile in Bookville, Lit Reactor, BookPage, i-DA FAVORITE BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker, Barack ObamaA BEST BOOK FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS: AV Club, Chicago Tribune, New York Magazine/The Strategist, The Rumpus WINNER of the Kirkus Prize and the Center for Fiction First Novel PrizeAN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERNATIONAL INDIE BESTSELLER * LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER * WASHINGTON POST BESTSELLER I’ll admit to *not* wanting to read LUSTER (FSG, September 2020) because, well…it was on so many lists and so frequently talked about in literary circles. But then I wrote to the biblioracle at the Chicago Tribune, where I offered the last five books I’d read …

Debut author Ashley audrain talks about her ravishingly dark and twisted THE PUSH, about motherhood, the postpartum period, intergenerational trauma, family legacy + reading list, more

By Leslie Lindsay  Deliciously dark and juicy psychological drama–a DEBUT–you’ll be talking about long after you turn the last page, the issues and concerns surrounding motherhood, family history, genetics, and more.  ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ THE PUSH (forthcoming from Pamela Dorman Books/PRH January 5, 2021) is one of those buzzy–OMG–books you’ll devour in one sitting. Is it a conversation-started? You bet. Will have it have you puzzling out your own maternal history–going back generations? Yes, that too. Here, we meet Blythe Connor, a woman whose experience of motherhood is not at all what she imagine. Blythe is determined to be the warm, caring, generous mother she herself never had. Still, she can’t let go of the disturbing, nagging thought that her daughter, Violet is not like other children. Is something ‘off?’ She’s distant, defiant, stubborn, antisocial, angry. Is she dangerous? Is Blythe just exhausted? Is it because Blythe doesn’t have much of a mother figure and her childhood was distorted? And her mother’s childhood, too? Maybe. Here we examine motherhood in the most …

IF THE HOUSE…an arresting collection of poetry that begs the questions of obsessions, motifs, memories, flaws, and so much more–MOLLY SPENCER ON this plus how poems ‘talk’ to each other

By Leslie Lindsay  IF THE HOUSE…a lyrical and emotive collection of poetry about the most basic structures of creation and recreation. ~WRITERS INTERVIEWING WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ POETRY FRIDAY Well-known spaces of homes are examined with lush and precise prose in IF THE HOUSE by Molly Spencer (University of Wisconsin Press, 2019), and being a ‘house person,’ I found myself completely absorbed. Here, we navigate the experiences of land and home, person and family, the cycles of nature, as well as ordinary and extravagant things–a kitchen table, a memory, the sky. It’s complex, it’s metaphorical, it’s all things good poetry should be. And like all good poetry, it is best savored and read aloud, and revisited–like an old homestead–often. Molly Spencer’s poetry has appeared in various well-known and recognized literary journals. She is a poetry editor for Rumpus and this collection won the 2019 Brittingham Prize in Poetry. Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Molly Spencer back to the author interview series. Leslie Lindsay: Molly, welcome back. I so loved IF THE HOUSE and HINGE (see …

INSTANT NYT BESTSELLING AUTHOR christina baker kline talks about her ravishing new historical fiction, THE EXILES, women convicts, mothers, writing, TREES & asks me a question, too

By Leslie Lindsay  A powerful, emotionally resonant novel that captures the hardship, oppression, opportunity and hope of four women’s lives—three English convicts and an orphaned Aboriginal girl—in nineteenth-century Australia. ~ALWAYS WITH A BOOK|WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS~ HISTORICAL FICTION SPOTLIGHT Gorgeous, sweeping historical novel about women convicts seeking refuge and freedom set in the nineteenth century England and Australia. AUTHOR OF THE PHENOMENAL #1 NYT BESTSELLER ORPHAN TRAIN Instant New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Indie Next bestseller SEPTEMBER 2020 “20 Great Reads” List, Indie Next THE BEST BOOKS OF 2020, REAL SIMPLE Optioned for television by Bruna Papandrea/Made Up Stories (“Big Little Lies”) …and more… I fell in love with THE ORPHAN TRAIN and felt the anxiety and inner turmoil in A PIECE OF THE WORLD, and when THE EXILES was published (WilliamMorrow/CustomHouse, August 25 2020), I dove head-first into the lucid prose. THE EXILES absolutely swept me away.  Kline takes a trio of young women and makes them so whole, so flawed, so authentic, it feels like they are right there with you, …

Serpentine Literary Historical suspense inspired by the classic ‘rebecca,’ THE TWO MRS. CARLYLES is about the bond between women, but also manipulation

By Leslie Lindsay A twisty literary thriller set in the wake of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. ~Wednesdays with Writers|Always with a Book~ Historical Fiction Spotlight San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy — if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself. When a whirlwind romance with the city’s most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history. “If you loved Rindell’s THE OTHER TYPIST, if you adored Jane Eyre, if you were riveted by Rebecca, you will be enthralled by THE TWO …

Anna Solomon talks about her ravishing and darkly sexy The Book of V., about female friendships, Biblical Esther, the imbalance of power, the structure of writing and so much more

By Leslie Lindsay  Bold, elegant, blisteringly raw and delicately complex reimagining of the biblical Queen Esther, interwoven with contemporary characters, about being a strong, passionate woman in a male-dominated world. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Recommended by: People Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Real Simple, The Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, The New York Post, CNN, The Skimm, and more… plus… A Good Morning America & An Emma Roberts’ Belletrist Book Club Pick Bold, elegant, blisteringly raw and delicately complex reimagining of the biblical Queen Esther, interwoven with contemporary characters, about being a strong, passionate woman in a male-dominated world. I just finished THE BOOK OF V. (Henry Holt, May 2020) by Anna Solomon, and this book…oh this book! I cannot rave about it enough. I scrambled to order everything else she has ever written and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. This book made me think, it made me talk, it made me write. “The Book of V. asks complicated questions about power, desire, and the evolution of women’s roles.” —Real Simple, Top Picks for Every Taste THE BOOK OF …

Can we break the cycle of trauma and abuse? Kristi Carter talks about this, the twilight of spring, Southern identity, the struggles that make up womankind, and so much more in this luminous collection of poetry in ARIA VISCERA

By Leslie Lindsay Such a gorgeously dark and ruminative collection of poetry focusing on one’s thick, oppressive familial heritage, and yet, a compelling light to break the cycle. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ With a title like ARIA VISCERA (April Gloaming Press, May 5 2020), I could hardly resist this collection by Kristi Carter. In music, aria is defined as a singular voice, self-contained, and it also brings to mind great expansion, an origin I am not familiar with etymologically, but maybe. And of course, viscera represents the internal organs. Being a writer with a background in medicine, this collection spoke to me, quite literally, but once I dove into the pages, I discovered there was another calling: it’s about a scarred past, and how scars don’t exactly go away, but fade; it’s about finding one’s own light in dark times, of escaping the cycle of abuse, neglect, of breaking away. Divided into four sections, ARIA VISCERA focuses on birth, names, anatomy, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, brothers, life cycles; it’s also about myths and monsters (literal and …

Beloved UK Author Ruth Hogan delights with her newest release QUEENIE MALONE’S PARADISE HOTEL with vibrant characters, tackling issues such as estrangement, mental illness, and chosen families

By Leslie Lindsay  An uplifting novel of mothers and daughters, secrets and the astonishing power of friendship, from the wildly popular bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things. ~FICTION FRIDAY|ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ WINNER OF THE ROMANTIC NOVELISTS’ ASSOCIATION AWARD 2020 SELECTED FOR WORLD BOOK NIGHT 2020 A PRIMA BOOK OF THE YEAR Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits. But Tilly’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning. Now an adult, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda returns to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unravelling the mystery …

Period debut by Gretchen Berg delves into the 1950s in small-town Wooster, Ohio, telephone operators, gossip, class, and more in THE OPERATOR

By Leslie Lindsay  A light, satisfying read about two women, a small town, and piles of gossip. ~WEDNESDAYS WITH WRITERS| ALWAYS WITH A BOOK~ Nobody knows the people of small-town Wooster, Ohio better than Vivian Dalton,and she’ll be the first to tell you so. She calls it ‘intuition,’ her teenaged daughter, Charlotte calls it, what it is: eavesdropping. Vivian and her colleagues work at Ohio Bell, connecting lines and lives. No one is supposed to listen in on calls, but they do. THE OPERATOR (William Morrow, March 10 2020) a debut by Gretchen Berg is about rumors, stories, class structure, education, gender inequality, and more. It is often humorous, relatable in most, and though it’s set in the early 1950s, it’s timely and topical, too. Plus, can we say, > “cover crush?! ” We want to believe the 1950s was simpler, easier, but there were true concerns and worries then, too. There’s jealousy, bigotry, infidelity, and even embezzlement. THE OPERATOR is told primarily through Vivian Dalton, who is a bit insecure about her place in the world. She’s bright was asked to give …