Mostly Fearless Women

Join several very different women on their quests to save families, themselves or the world. These books will keep you guessing and maybe a little anxious about the protagonists’ chances of success.

1. Red Clocks by Leni Zumas

This riveting drama explores the complicated female experience in a dystopian America that has made abortion, in-vitro fertilization and adoption by single women illegal. The story centers around five women and the different ways they navigate these barriers and the ideas of motherhood, identity and freedom.

“Move over Atwood, Leni Zumas’s Red Clocks is a gender roaring tour de force. The bodies of women in Red Clocks are each the site of resistance and revolution. I screamed out loud. I pumped my fist in the air. And I remembered how hope is forged from the ground up, through the bodies of women who won’t be buried.”―Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan


2. Girls in The Picture by Melanie Benjamin

“Actress Mary Pickford and screenwriter Frances Marion are Hollywood legends, and I thought I knew them well—until I read The Girls in the Picture. With riveting subtlety, Melanie Benjamin reveals the texture of their daily lives and the complexity of their decades long friendship. In the process, Benjamin creates an astonishing portrait of the early days of Hollywood, when innovation ruled and women wielded power alongside men. The Girls in the Picture is a fascinating, fast-paced, and ultimately heartbreaking story about two kindred spirits and their struggle for professional and personal fulfillment.”—Lauren Belfer, New York Times bestselling author of And After the Fire      


3. The Wife Between Us by Tom Hunt

“Fiendishly clever…in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. This one will keep you guessing.” -Anita Shreve, New York Times bestselling author of The Stars Are Fire

“It’s human nature to assume; we all do. But this psychological thriller by first-time novelist Hendricks and best-selling author Pekkanen (The Perfect Neighbors) proves just how dangerous assumptions can be. Nellie, a young teacher, has met the man of her dreams. Nine years her senior, Richard is charming, handsome and wealthy. He pampers Nellie like a queen – until he doesn’t. Nellie is constantly thrown off-kilter. Is Richard manipulating things that happen between them? Reality and deception are woven into a strange pattern of twisted understanding. As the difference in how each perceives their marriage grows wider, so does their estrangement until Richard leaves Nellie for another woman. Or so everyone believes.” -Library Journal


4. The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

Haunted by the memories of her old life, before society collapsed and her world consisted of only frozen wilderness, Lynn survives learning to hunt, trap and slaughter. This debut novel tells the story of a young woman fighting to keep her humanity and family during desperate times.

“If Jack London had written a post-apocalyptic, coming-of-age thriller, it might read something like this. Curl up with The Wolves of Winter by a warm fire, and set aside a day, because this is great, absorbing fiction, with one of the most appealing protagonists I’ve ever encountered.  It deserves the widest possible audience.” —Blake Crouch, author of Dark Matter 


5. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

This stand-alone novel is the third book in the Wayward Children series. Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children is a magical boarding school that reintroduces children to the real world after their fantasy adventures. One student, Rini, is on a quest to save the world but gets sidetracked by her mother who died years before Rini was conceived. Rini needs to find a way to restore her mother or she will never have been born. Other students join her quest in this tale of friendship and daring.

“This gothic novel is ideal for fantasy fans who have longed for a world of their own, as well as readers looking for books with diverse casts.” ―Bookish


Jennifer Jones

I’m the library’s fiction selector and I’ve been suggesting new books to library and bookmobile customers for over 17 years. I keep up on all the new book reviews, and my favorite question is “What are you reading?” I love to talk about books and to read books. I like to tell library customers, “Try something new. If you don’t like it, at least the price is right!”