For Readers

Women’s Lit Books to Read This Summer

By: Hidden Gems on May 30, 2023

Hidden Gems Books ARC service.

By: Hidden Gems on May 30, 2023


According to Wikipedia, Women’s fiction is an umbrella term for women centered books that focus on women’s life experience that are typically marketed to female readers, and includes many mainstream novels. If you’re looking for women’s lit books to add to your queue this summer, take a peek at these titles our ARC readers loved.

Love, Lizzie

Love, Lizzie by John Zaiss

With 70+ ratings and a 4.9 star average, Love, Lizzie is the story of a woman in a seemingly perfect marriage in 1952, and the tale of her story as it is unraveled fifty years later.

Patricia K writes in her five star Amazon review, “Really an excellent read. This story was captivating from the beginning, and held my attention throughout. It reminds us of a time with different challenges, when family secrets could shift a life or lives once they are revealed. I appreciated the multi generational characters and the juxtaposition of such different eras. The characters quickly became people I cared about and I was sorry to leave them on the page once finished.”

Sarah H concurs in her five star Amazon review, “A terrific, and poignant, portrayal of three generations of women whose lives are tied to a deeply flawed man who is their respective son-in-law, husband, and father. John’s insight into the culture and mores of the 1950’s-1970’s and his ability to weave them into the difficult conjoined topics of maternal heart disease and the exquisitely painful choices a woman confronts in seeking a medical abortion are handled masterfully…”

Tin Moon

Tin Moon by Blakely Chorpenning

With 40+ ratings and a 4.5 star average, Tin Moon is a coming of age tale set in the early 1900’s South. It follows Nora, as she balances marriage and familial relationships after the suspicious disappearance of her sister.

“This work of fiction transported me to the early 1900’s in North Carolina, as a North Carolinian I was struck by the authenticity of the history contained in this book,” Zoralee writes in her five star Amazon review. “The writer portrayed family dynamics and issues relating to love, secrets and lies and the strength of a sister’s bond all within a mystery I wasn’t able to crack. I was captivated throughout.”

Read4Fun further explains in their five star Amazon review, “…The protagonist’s voice was so unique, vivid and ‘real’ that I found I wanted to know her story…This is a novel about real life, the ups and downs, the loves and challenges. I loved that Nora married the perfect man for her and that she was so unconventional, always following her own heart rather than the dictates of society. I was left by the end with a warm spot around my heart for these people who could have been real.

Overall this is a fabulous novel beautifully written. The language of the area was just sufficient to give a feel for the place and time without distracting or alienating the reader. Excellent!”

When You See Her

When You See Her by Barbara Boehm Miller

With 40+ ratings and a 4.9 star average, When You See Her follows Sarah, who in her desperation to escape her small town, accepts a job with a traveling carnival.

Ryan writes in his five star Amazon review, “This thoughtful, mesmerizing book transports its readers. Miller renders the fantastical world of the carnival in vivid detail, and her characters are richly complex – spectacular and unique, but also vulnerable and real. From the very start, I found myself loving and rooting for Sarah, and her victories felt like my own.

What I love most about this novel, though, is that it is both thought-provoking and entertaining. The book’s themes invite readers to consider lofty questions – questions of visibility and invisibility; belonging and exclusion; entrapment and freedom. Yet, while these themes bring depth to the novel, the beautiful writing and deft plot construction immerse the reader in Sarah’s world, carrying the reader along on her journey. I couldn’t put this book down, but once I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about it…”

Elizabeth P concurs in her five star Amazon review, “If you are a lover of stories about relationships, this is the book for you. The author weaves a fascinating world of carnival workers: the weirdos, the lonely, the dreadful and the beautiful hearted, all of them meld together in this delicious novel…”

Shelter Me

Shelter Me by Ellen Cassidy

With 15+ ratings and a 4.5 star average, Shelter Me follows Kathleen, a widow, who confronts the changes brought on by a passionate affair.

kriskami describes in her five star Amazon review, “…let your imagination inhabit fictional St. Simon, MI, and hang out at its brewpub, HopCanon, where protagonist Kathleen Brooks works for her lifelong best friend, Summer Martin, and collides with Thomas Hart, who turns her life upside down, redemptively…This novel celebrates the ease and devotion of gal pals, the sisters that aren’t born to us, but that we choose, challenge and defend. Simultaneously, the novel proves that trust and unconditional love can heal even the oldest and deepest wounds. The dialogue is genuine, original and real; the characters are strong and memorable and the story will keep you turning pages. Cheers!”

“This is a new to me author and I enjoyed how real she could tell a story,” Sharon concurs in her five star Amazon review. “I loved the value of the friendship these ladies have with each other and the loyalty that women have. How the characters evolve and develop. The relationship with Kathleen and Thomas was realistic and was a well written read from start to end.”

She's Not Home

She’s Not Home by Lena George

With 15+ ratings and a 4.5 star average, She’s Not Home is our final hidden gem to discover. She’s Not Home is the story of a mother, Sheryl, who is trying to keep her daughter, Mariana, safe after the unexpected death of her other daughter.

“This was such an emotional read,” Christy T. writes in her five star Amazon review. ‘I could hardly put it down and wished for all my responsibilities to go away so I could be still and focus on this story. It worked well for the story to be told from the dual perspectives of mother and daughter. I was frustrated with Sheryl (the mother) countless times but it’s impossible to put myself in her shoes since I haven’t lost a child. It was heartbreaking but enlightening to see how the loss of a child impacted the remaining family members. The story was also a reminder of how hard high school can be.”

teachlz further explains in her five star Amazon review, “…The author discusses important topics such as the use of alcohol and drugs, the importance of family and friends, forgiveness, second chances, emotional support, love, and hope. Also mentioned is the importance of therapy, communication, and trust. I highly recommend this novel.”

Hidden Gems readers got to read these women’s lit books first, so if you want more stories to spend your weekend with, sign up today! Subscribers to Hidden Gems receive invitations to read books like these – plus other titles from any of up to 15 other genres – for free. All authors want is for you to consider leaving an honest review of them on Amazon when you’re done reading!

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