This month in BookTrib, we are celebrating women’s fiction titles that showcase Third Act — 65+ stories. These characters have decades of experience and plenty of opinions. They have so much to tell us, and we can’t wait to hear from them!
Going Through the Change by Samantha Bryant
“The Change” is difficult for everyone, but for these four women, the transformation is bigger than they ever imagined!
Leading completely normal, completely different lives, the women all have one thing in common: they used natural products made by the same small company while they were going through menopause. Now, instead of finding her hot flashes under control, Helen shoots fire from her fingertips! Patricia’s thick skin isn’t nearly as metaphorical as it used to be since she’s become bulletproof! Jessica’s mood lightened, but so did the rest of her! And Linda, who’s gone through the biggest changes of all, has no trouble opening pickle jars any longer!
Four ordinary women suddenly find themselves living extraordinary lives. When they discover that the same mysterious person connects them to one another, these Menopausal Superheroes decide to find the woman responsible for taking their “change” to the extreme!
The Disharmony of Silence by Linda Rosen
In 1915, jealous, bitter Rebecca Roth cut all ties with her life-long friends, the Pearls. Eight years later, Rebecca’s son and young Lena Pearl begin keeping company in secret. Rebecca agrees to a truce when the couple marries. But the truce is fragile since Rebecca’s resentments run deep.
In 2010, Carolyn Lee, fitness instructor and amateur photographer, must come to grips with the fact that her mother’s imminent death will leave her alone in the world. While preparing her childhood home for sale, she realizes for the first time that her mother’s antique brooch is identical to the one pinned to the lady’s dress in the painting hanging above the fireplace. Coincidence or connection? Carolyn is determined to find out. What she discovers has the potential to tear lives apart or to bring her the closeness and comfort she longs for. It all depends on how she handles her newfound knowledge.
Fishnets & Fantasies by Jane Doucet
Wendy Hebb has been a fisherman’s wife for forty years. She has also been a mother, a yoga instructor, and a part-time soap maker. She loves her life in picturesque Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, but it’s just not enough anymore. With a burning entrepreneurial desire, she decides that when her husband, Paul, retires, it will finally be her turn to live out her dream. The catch: her dream is to open a sex shop.
While Paul begrudgingly goes along with Wendy’s “half-cocked” idea, it’s out of a sense of guilt since a recently spilled secret has their marriage on the rocks. As soon as the townspeople get wind of Wendy’s plans, it opens up a whole other can of worms — and Paul finds himself bait for the local rumour mill. Orbiting around Paul and Wendy’s story is a motley crew of characters who prove that lust can combust at any age, especially when it’s sparked by old grudges and older secrets, and the relationships that make all the awkward fumbling worthwhile.
Stage Seven by Ruth F. Stevens
Barbara Gordon is a self-reliant, divorced mom, brilliant at managing her life with lists and spreadsheets. Lately, though, the demands of a teenage daughter, a manipulative sister, and a mother with worsening Alzheimer’s are more than she can handle.
Then Barbara meets Jack, an appealing older man married to a late-stage dementia patient who no longer knows him. Jack and Barbara hold the power to make each other happy … but only if Barbara can break her long cycle of romantic abstinence.
Funny, sad and heartwarming, Stage Seven tells the tale of two people caught between love and duty, and the risks we take in order to commit our hearts to family, friends and lovers.
My Secret to Keep by Barbara Conrey
When Maggie Bryan works up the nerve to tell her parents she’s pregnant, they immediately disown her. Later that night, her boyfriend dies in a senseless accident. In desperation, she turns to her brother, Sam. Against his wife’s wishes, Sam brings Maggie to his home in rural Pennsylvania. While Maggie awaits the birth of her child and navigates the tension in her new home, she decides to finish high school. There, she meets Anne Phillips, a volunteer educator and full-time architect.
Over time, Maggie becomes drawn to Anne in ways she doesn’t understand, but she knows enough to keep her feelings hidden. After a devastating loss, Maggie tries to move on, but secrets and betrayals keep her from living her fullest life. Beginning in the late 1940s and spanning decades, My Secret to Keep follows the complicated journey of a woman at war with society, her family and herself.
The Physics of Things by Ginny Fite
Irene Fermi is different from other children.
Maybe it’s the way she dresses or how she talks. Maybe it’s the things she thinks. And while her sister is perfect, she is just the opposite.
Longing to be normal, Irene must learn how to hide, when to run, and who to fight. With her grandmother, weekend father, and shell-shocked uncle as allies, she counts each moment of calm as a victory.
Now a dying woman, Irene looks back on her life and unravels the knotted relationship with her mother and finds she may have been wrong about everything.
In a world impossible to navigate, the true north of The Physics of Things is the triumph of love and the resilience of the human spirit.
House on Fire by D. Liebhart
How far would you go to keep a promise? Bernadette Rogers swore she’d never put her father in a nursing home. Does that include euthanizing him to keep her word? Her mother thinks it does. Bernadette isn’t so sure. And even if she were, it’s not like you can walk into a drug store and buy Nembutal.
Neo-hippie turned ICU nurse, Bernadette’s no stranger to the blunt realities of death, but her mother’s request to help her father — who’s disappearing into the abyss of dementia — go “peacefully” blindsides her. Her mother thinks it’s assisted suicide. Bernadette knows better. Even if they do it for all the right reasons, it’s still murder.
What was supposed to be a relaxing two-week break with her best friend becomes an emotional rollercoaster as Bernadette is forced to make an agonizing decision about her beloved father and figure out just how far she’s willing to go for love. For fans of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this is an unforgettable story of family, friendship, and the sort of promises no one should be expected to honor.
The Dancer at the End of His Bed by Mila Douglas
Sisters Claudia and Bonnie witness their father hallucinating on his deathbed. As he reminisces with an imaginary woman about their dancing past, he alludes to a mysterious event where everything went terribly wrong. After his funeral, the sisters discover Dad wasn’t the man he professed to be. In their grief, shock, and confusion, they are intent upon solving the mystery of exactly who and what their father really was.
Resident of The Figs Care Facility, ninety-two-year-old Katerina receives a letter in recognisable yet shaky handwriting. Her long-lost lover reminds her of their solemn pact and the secret it guards, warning that his daughters may come looking. To ease her troubled mind, Katerina confides to her Italian-speaking friend with advanced dementia, confident that her secret is safe — but some secrets are too big to remain hidden.
Perfect for readers of Kate Morton, Liane Moriarty and Sarah Goodman, The Dancer at the End of His Bed takes readers on an emotional journey encompassing complicated family dynamics and a long-buried past, and ultimately begs the question: can any of us completely know the people we love?
Nine Days by Judy Lannon
Out of town for a company conference, Sara gets a call that her mother is in the hospital. 94-year-old Genevieve Austin has decided it’s time to die and summons her adult children home. Ranging in age from 54 to 67, each arrives with their own emotional baggage, differing opinions, and a shared past of attempting to maneuver the murky waters of dealing with the difficult mother whose eccentricities have made them into their version of a family.
As her mother’s reluctant healthcare proxy, Sara, a product of divorce, narcissism, and alcoholism, relates with humor and alcohol how she’s worked through a lifetime of self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness to emerge a stronger, integrated woman.