This months selections are a trio of novels about women taking charge of their lives, and a new nonfiction book making the best seller list.
Lets start with an author who, while never making the best seller list, is nevertheless a favorite of many for her gentle style: Sandra Dallas. In The Patchwork Bride, while Ellen is making a wedding quilt for granddaughter June, the younger woman arrives to announce she is calling off the wedding. Ellen shares a story of someone she knew called Nell from around the turn of the 20th century. Having had her heart broken, rather than marry the wrong man Nell turns down several marriage proposals before finding the love of her life.
Next up are three friends who met in fat camp as teenagers in Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins. The friends are now in their thirties. Emerson dies and leaves a final wish for friends Georgia and Marley: conquer their fears and fulfill a list they made as teenagers of things they want to do once they are thin. Georgia faces shaming from her mother and brother, but is buoyed by the unconditional acceptance coming from her father and stepfamily. She has to revisit the reason for her divorce and learn to accept the love her ex-husband offers. Marley is dealing with feelings of guilt over her twin sisters death 30 years earlier and, like Georgia, accepting love from others.
The third novel comes from a brand new author, Vanessa Hua. A River of Stars is about a young Chinese woman. Unmarried and pregnant, Scarlett is sent by her babys father, her married boss, to a maternity home in Los Angeles. She and a teenager from the home leave to pursue their own path.
The nonfiction book is Dopesick, about the opioid crisis. Author Beth Macy shows how the crisis came to be, with America embracing a culture where overtreatment with painkillers came to be the norm. She shows how opioid addiction crosses all geographic and cultural lines, and shares stories of people caught up in the crisis.