Jul 10, 2013

Women's Fiction Wednesday & Jojo Moyes

The more I dabble in the world of Women's Fiction, the more I realize people aren't quite sure what it is. In the sea of YA online (and I love each and every one of you), there are many people who think that Women's Fiction is romance, sex, chick lit, etc.

The answer is yes, it is those things and it isn't. Amy Sue Nathan, who is the host of Women's Fiction Writers describes it best:

We might love chick lit, but we don’t write it. We might love romance, but we don’t write that either.  Same goes for zombies and vampires.  We write extraordinary yet realistic characters in realistic and extraordinary situations.  If our main characters have love interests, it’s a bonus.
In our books, as in all books, the main character’s journey leads to an ultimate goal.
But in our books — the main character saves herself.
I highlighted lots of titles for the A-Z challenge this year, but I know that is a whirlwind month and people see posts but they don't. Some of these might be some that showed up then, but with more. I want this site to become a bit more of a place where people who like women's fiction can come and see what else they can read. So, on Wednesdays, I'm going to highlight a WF book, and save them all in the new tab at the top of the page.

It only seems fitting, then, that I start this off with my favorite book of the year so far.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.

Synopsis from Goodreads: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

I savored the whole reading experience of this book. Moyes is British, and the humor that I love from that region is distributed throughout this novel with brilliance. I both loved and hated the characters at different points in time, and for different reasons. I even connected with the secondary characters.

There are some meaty issues in this book, serious issues that engage both the mind and the heart. And more than once, I thought I knew how it would end, but found that I wasn't sure that was what I wanted. It gave me great satisfaction to know that Moyes went back and forth on how it should end.

I've said it several times and I'll say it again. This is the book of the year for me, still. I've read some amazing books, but I read this on in January, and writing about it now, I still have the emotional connections with the characters, still remember how this book made me feel. That is writing power.

What's your favorite book of the year so far? Are you a fan of British humor? 


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The main character saves herself - thanks, because I wasn't sure what it was either.

Julie Luek said...

I love good women's fiction from time-to-time so thanks for the recommendation. I've read a couple great books this year, fiction and non-fiction. Well-written books make my heart happy!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I read some women's fiction but I think it is a category where some books get thrown because no one can define them.

JeffO said...

While I understand the need for the categorization, I also find it sad. I think there are a lot of good books that a lot of men won't read because it's listed as Women's Fiction.

Matthew MacNish said...

But it has to bee a contemporary setting right? Or is Women's Fiction a category that over-arches genre?

Margo Berendsen said...

Visiting here from Matt's site and I do love your query! I have tried my hand at women's fiction too and I like your description of it. I especially love WF with magical realism. Mine had a time twist element in it.

Morgan said...

Thanks for this fun post, Tasha. And I hadn't heard of Me Before You before... it looks wonderful! The best book I've read this year has to be The Fault in Our Stars by John Green... yeah...