9 captivating novels by female authors

The process of searching for interesting new books can be time-consuming and end up eating into your reading time. While the majority of us don’t want to spend too long searching bookshops or the web for a good read, we often don’t want to pick up the first thing we see either.

To hopefully save you some time and offer you some literary inspiration, we’ve teamed up with book publisher, HarperCollins, to bring you nine captivating novels by female authors. From tales of death and deception to stories of family and friendship, this list should have something for everyone.

Don’t forget to join HarperFiction’s general fictional newsletter The Book Retreat for a chance to win the entire bundle of books below – you can do that here.

A heartfelt tale that takes place over the course of a century, Daughters of Cornwall is the story of three generations of women and how they navigate love, family and sacrifice. Set against the backdrop of some of the past century’s most turbulent times, Britton’s novel explores how families evolve and how their secrets are passed down through generations. Just like the vast moors of Cornwall itself, it’s easy to lose yourself in Fern’s epic novel of mothers and daughters, secrets and lies, and a love that lasts a lifetime.

If you’re looking for something that’s going to bring a smile to your face, then look no further than The Wife Who Got A Life by Tracy Bloom.

After years of prioritising her family, Cathy Collins decides to take control of her life and put her own goals and happiness first. Told entirely through Cathy’s diary entries, The Wife Who Got A Life is a riotous journey of self-discovery filled with wit and attitude, as well as touching insights into what it’s like to grow older and be a woman in modern society.

Cathy’s mission to find out what truly makes her happy while being a mother and a wife is sure to make you laugh, and encourage you to think about your own life and happiness.

A mysterious tycoon, a vacationing Hollywood star and the opal waters of the Mediterranean… Television presenter Carol Kirkwood’s upcoming debut outing Under a Greek Moon is the escape we’ve all been dreaming of.

If you’re looking for a novel that’ll whisk you away to a place that is both glamorous and exciting, then look no further than Under A Greek Moon – a tale of romance, scandal and secrets set against the mesmerising backdrop of the islands of Greece.

Under a Greek Moon won’t be released until July, but you can pre-order your copy here:

There’s nothing quite like a great thriller to get your heart pounding and your blood racing, and Susan Lewis’ The Lost Hours will do just that.

Annie Crayce lives a near-perfect life. She’s happily married with three beautiful children and has a successful business. However, when her husband, David, is linked to the murder of a teenage girl that happened over twenty years ago, Annie and her family’s life is sucked into a downward spiral. This gripping story follows Annie’s search for answers: any answers that will prove her husband innocent. However, at the centre of her investigation is a handful of lost hours that she just can’t solve.

The Lost Hours will have you tearing through pages, as anxious as Annie herself to find out who really committed this long-forgotten crime. Lewis’ snappy dialogue and original characters make this the perfect novel to really sink your teeth into.

The Motion of the Body Through Space tells the story of Serenata, an exercise enthusiast who, at the age of sixty, has learned that her active lifestyle has taken a terrible toll on her knees and she now needs debilitating surgery. All the while, Remington, her previously inactive spouse, has decided to join the world of fitness in possibly the most jarring way imaginable – he decides to run a marathon.

Shriver’s signature knack for social and psychological observation is on full display here. The Motion of the Body Through Space takes a bold and satirical look at marriage and modern exercise culture – particularly the obsession and competitiveness that comes along with them.

To learn more about Lionel Shriver, you might want to check out our Rest Less Presents webinar, An audience with Lionel Shriver, where we sat down with the acclaimed author to ask questions posted by Rest Less members.

If you’re a bit of a history buff, then you’ll surely love A Single Thread – a timeless story of one woman’s quest to carve out a life for herself in the wake of the First World War. Not only has Violet been traumatised by the war that took both her brother and fiance, leaving her alone with her overbearing mother, but society now considers her a ‘surplus woman’. Being fiercely independent, Violet escapes to Winchester where she joins an embroidery group.

Tracy Chevalier’s excellent blend of fact and fiction explores the role of women in mid-twentieth-century society in a way that is still relevant to this day, while touching on themes of art, identity and friendship.

If you’re a fan of classic crime fiction, then you’ve surely heard of Agatha Christie’s legendary detective Hercule Poirot and his timeless stories Murder on the Orient Express and Death on the Nile.

In The Killings at Kingfisher Hill, Poirot is summoned to the exclusive estate of Richard Devonport to solve the murder of his brother and prove the innocence of his soon-to-be wife. However, Poirot must conduct his investigation while concealing his true reason for being there.

For this new murder mystery, acclaimed author Sophie Hannah takes the driver’s seat and delivers a captivating and complex whodunnit story while honouring Agatha Christie’s beloved legacy. Longtime fans of the moustachioed detective – as well as first-time readers – will surely enjoy this twisting crime tale.

If you are looking for a book that’ll offer an escape from the stress of everyday life, then you’ll want something charming, heartfelt and hopeful. Beth Morrey’s Saving Missy might be the perfect medicine to help your tension and worries melt away.

Seventy-nine-year-old Missy Carmichael leads a solitary and somewhat miserable life. She’s lost her husband, her son has moved halfway around the world, and she’s estranged from her daughter. However, after a chance encounter in the park, two strangers (and a dog named Bobby) enter her life and offer her a second chance to find connection.

Saving Missy is a heartfelt tale that’ll have you laughing and crying along the way. It touches on universal themes that are important to us all, such as loneliness, the power of friendship, growing older and dealing with regret.

One of the undisputed powerhouses of the genre, Karin Slaughter delivers the goods once again with this edge-of-your-seat thriller. The Silent Wife is the latest instalment of the Will Trent series: a collection of novels that follows the titular character of federal agent Will Trent, as he investigates violent crimes.

The Silent Wife tells the story of the death of a young woman who is found in the woods. After a prisoner connects her demise with the murder he was previously accused of and jailed for, Will and his team find themselves simultaneously investigating crimes that took place almost a decade apart. Is the prisoner innocent? Is the killer still out there? You’ll have to read The Silent Wife to find out.

The unpredictable plot and the attention Slaughter pays to each individual character will keep you engrossed from start to finish. And though it’s part of a series, The Silent Wife is an excellent stand-alone read, so you won’t have to go back and catch up on Will Trent’s other adventures – unless you want to, that is!

Final Thoughts…

Whether you’re looking to put your detective hat on and solve a murder, be whisked away to a faraway land, or simply get to know some unusual characters, we hope this list of novels by female authors can offer you something you won’t want to put down…

If you like the sound of the books above, and would like to be in with a chance of winning the entire bundle, then please submit your competition entry by filling out the form below.

Win this entire bundle of books...

Sign up to HarperFiction’s general fiction newsletter The Book Retreat for a chance to win – and you’ll also receive more book recommendations, great deals, and exclusive competitions.

Have you read any of the books we’ve mentioned in this list? If so, how did you find them? What’s your favourite book by a female author? We’d love to hear from you! Leave us a comment below, or join the conversation on the Book Club section of the community forum.

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