This year I’ve been volunteering with the Women’s Fiction Writers Association as a host for the “women’s fiction cafe,” which is done on Facebook. Instead of asking everyone to read a book in advance and discuss it, this is a chance for authors to stop in and give people a taste of the book, its themes and locales and inspiration, which (we hope) will make people want to read it.
(By the way, if you’re interested in learning about new books through this format leave me a comment so I can be sure to invite you to the cafe weeks! Click here for next week’s!)
The first author I worked with was the lovely and ebullient Barbara Claypole White, whose enthusiasm endeared her to me, as did her flawed but lovable characters.
Barbara has a new book available now: THE PERFECT SON, and I’m pleased to say that it’s my favorite of her books so far. Here’s my Goodreads review:
Haunted by memory of his abusive father, Felix Fitzwilliam has always held himself at a distance from his teenage son, Harry, who, although brilliant, struggles with Tourette’s and other neurological challenges. But in the wake of his wife Ella’s heart attack, Felix has to take over as primary parent. Lyrical and filled with hope, THE PERFECT SON is the story of these two men learning to trust each other enough to admit their weaknesses and grow together as men.
It’s an unspoken assumption that “women’s fiction” must be about women. Barbara Claypole White expands that definition to encompass the story of two men loved by a woman. Felix and Harry are deeply and realistically flawed characters, and I spent every page holding my breath, hoping they would live up to their potential for good. Sometimes they didn’t. But their love and their commitment to their family and each other always brought them back. To watch them grow as human beings gave me hope for humanity. That is what this author does so well: writing stories of hope in situations where too often in reality we see only pain or hardship. This is her third book and my favorite so far.
Monday, Barbara will visit us for a Q&A. She’s such an interesting lady, and extremely personable, so I hope you’ll stop by!