A few weeks ago, a publicist for Sally Koslow emailed me about the possibility of reviewing THE WIDOW WALTZ (out in paperback 5/27/14!) Having reviewed it last year when I requested through Netgalley, I was then offered the option of a guest post by Sally.
So if you are looking for a beach read (and aren’t we all as the temperatures begin to rise and the lazy and carefree days of summer fast approach?), then THE WIDOW WALTZ may just be what you are looking for! And just in case you need more convincing- look at that dog- that dog is adorable and the cover is perfect!
Being a fan of women’s fiction, I’m always curious about what it means to others- and Sally graciously shared her thoughts on women’s fiction.
What Women’s Fiction Means to Me
By Sally Koslow
“I’m a fan of women’s literature, and of so many of the very talented female authors who write, perhaps more for women, but hopefully for a male audience as well,” a reader named Richard recently wrote in an Amazon review of my last novel, The Widow Waltz. “Female writers have their fingers on the pulse of human emotion, male and female, more so than their male counterparts do.”
“Thanks, Richard,” I wanted to write back. “You’ve nailed why I will always enjoy books that we commonly classify as “women’s fiction.”
Women’s fiction is a slippery term. Not all novelists who are female write it, while some men do. Charles Dickens, Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald—to name but a few of the greats–all deeply plumbed human emotion, ground zero for the genre. You might argue that delving into tangled feelings of their characters along with analyzing social customs of the day were the point of their novels, as much as they were for Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Edith Wharton or to pluck names from recent bestseller lists, Meg Wolitzer, Jojo Mayes, Claire Messud, or Elizabeth Strout.
What we love about “women’s fiction” is its knowing insights and intriguing characters. We don’t have to actually like the characters on whose lives we intimately eavesdrop. We’re not sharing a room for freshman year. But observing the struggles of complex literary people gives us insights into our own dilemmas. Assuming that the author has done a good job, we revel, cry, rejoice and hope along with characters who feel as if they live beyond the page. There may be moments when character feel more alive to us than men, women and children we meet in our daily lives.
“Fiction can seem more enduring than reality,” Claudia Hampton, character created by the great English novelist Penelope Lively wrote in Moon Tiger, a 1987 novel that my book club is reading this month. I could not agree more.
*Thanks Sally for sharing your thoughts on women’s fiction with Traveling With T’s readers!
Need more convincing that THE WIDOW WALTZ is a good book (besides that adorable cover?) Read Traveling With T’s review of THE WIDOW WALTZ by Sally Koslow.
Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,
T @ Traveling With T