Yes, I love Women’s Fiction, and here’s why…

I’ve become a glutton for Women’s Fiction, or, in other words, the new PC term for the once aptly named “Chick Lit.” It makes sense, as a kid I spent hours watching Lifetime movies. I’d revel in the scandal of it all—psychotic backstabbing, sultry betrayal, and opportunistic behavior. Sunday afternoons were the best, I’d tune in for the 12 pm, 2 pm, and 4 pm showings of the latest (and greatest) segments of MILFs in distress, power charged (female) attorneys intertwined in violent scandal, and of course, the smooth talking,  muscular, glistening-with-sweat (or tanning oil) male counterparts who treated them—proverbially of course—like s**t.

Thankfully, my ‘girly-girl’ literary choices go beyond Susan Lucci on the page. I don’t read Danielle Steel—whose novels turn to Lifetime flicks as ice turns to water—nor do I delve in genre romance novels, though I have read one or two and haven’t hated them, but found the standard formulas to be as fixed as a magician’s hat trick. On the contrary, the great works of Emily Giffin, Sarah Pekkanen, and Kristin Hannah go a tad beyond the made-for-television-movie level.

In truth, the three new (I say ‘new’ as in new to my personal reading experience) authors of the Women’s Fiction genre I’ve been in short, not reading, but devouring lately have got me ‘hating the haters’ so to speak, those of you who claim these literally denizens are, and I’ll paraphrase, “shallow,” “petty,” “frivolous,” and “small-minded.” In fact, and I assert they are instead, “witty,” “relatable,” “entertaining,” and yes, “significant.”

These are characters that are living the ‘Cosmo Girl’ lifestyle many of us dreamed of growing up. What’s more, is that through these characters’ struggles with family, career, love, and weight gain, we get a clear picture of the way these coveted lifestyles sometimes turn out. Plus, in some ways didn’t Jane Austen do the same thing?

It’s not shallow, it’s our lives. It’s our experiences. It’s figuring out what it is we really want, and how to go about getting what we really need. It’s the constant juggling that is expected of women. It’s the people who screw us, and the people we screw. It’s like reading about you. And what’s even better? You get to experience it without the trite dialogue, the impeccable, yet unrealistic hair, make-up, body type, and clothing, and of course the commercial breaks. Lifetime gives you guilty pleasure; Women’s Fiction gives you conundrums, heartache, perseverance, and in the long run…real pleasure.

Check out these author websites if you aren’t familiar:

http://www.emilygiffin.com/

http://www.sarahpekkanen.com/

http://kristinhannah.com/

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8 Comments

Filed under Books and Literature, Inspiration

8 responses to “Yes, I love Women’s Fiction, and here’s why…

  1. Well said, Katie. It’s a wonderful thing to have good writing out there that we can relate to.

  2. I’m intrigued!
    I too, devour Chick Lit/ Women’s Fiction, and keep asking myself, Why? What is it about these stories that draws me in, even though I’m already certain of the outcome for the heroine?
    Like you say, these are stories about modern women who struggle with problems unique to our times, and isn’t that what storytelling is all about?
    I’m going over to have a look. 🙂

  3. Thanks Kirsten! I hope maybe I piqued your interest in some new authors. It’s true…why? And why are we sometimes ashamed? I love reading unpretentious writing that’s goal is no more than to entertain, inspire, or make relate able

  4. Great post! I love Emily Giffen. I’d also like to recommend Jen Lancaster. She mostly writes memoirs, but she is a local Chicago girl, and I just love her. Very funny!

    Also, I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award! Congrats! Check it out here: http://jleesblog.com/2012/08/16/the-liebster-award/

  5. Thank jlee! I’m writing mine up now!

  6. Great points, Katherine. I, too, enjoy my Lifetime, but it’s been a while since I’ve read some good Women’s Fiction. Sounds like I should add it to my TBR stack! 🙂

  7. If you don’t know where to start, Eva, try one of the websites I posted. And I know, I too, have an enormous TBR list…as well as a TW (To Write) list.

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