Upcoming Women’s Fiction Books Getting Rave Reviews on NetGalley

A collage of the covers included in this article

It can be difficult to narrow the selection down with so many buzzy books hitting shelves every week, which is why I’ve turned to NetGalley member reviews for recommendations. Here’s a list of upcoming books from the Women’s Fiction category that are already exciting me and NetGalley members alike! I predict you’ll be adding quite a few of these to your next indie bookstore order.

The Sun Sets in Singapore by Kehinde Fadipe

​​British-Nigerian actress and screenwriter Kehinde Fadipe’s debut novel follows three expats living in Singapore. Dara, a lawyer from the UK; Amaka, a Nigerian banker; and Lillian, a pianist from the US, find their lives turned upside down by the arrival of a stranger. The Sun Sets in Singapore is a captivating and engrossing read that explores themes of identity, ambition, and the ghosts of our pasts,” writes Reviewer Dalton S. “Fadipe’s writing is lyrical and evocative, and she deftly captures the struggles and triumphs of her characters. Highly recommended for fans of contemporary fiction and anyone looking for a thrilling and thought-provoking read.”

The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange, narrated by Barrie Kreinik

This new novel from the bestselling author of We Are the Brennans opens with Tara Connelly returning home to her family after spending 18 months in prison on a drug charge. “I can’t resist a novel that centers on sibling dynamics, and this one does that and so much more… These characters are really well drawn, and their interactions reflect both interpersonal struggles and deep love for each other, too,” says Educator Sacha M. “This is my first exposure to this author, and I am confident I’ll be reading more after this great experience. On a related note, the audiobook is wonderfully narrated, and I recommend that option when/where accessible.”

Women of Good Fortune by Sophie Wan

In this debut novel, reluctant bride-to-be Lulu and her two closest friends attempt to pull off a high-society heist and make off with the gifts from the wedding she doesn’t want to have. “The story and the prose were both effortlessly engaging, and it was impossible not to get lost in this book as I read,” Book Trade Professional Christy H writes. “I thought it was a perfect balance of humor and warmheartedness, juxtaposed with a thoughtful examination of societal understanding of gender roles and the way in which women are viewed and valued versus how they view and value themselves. I highly recommend this book for any fans of contemporary fiction—it truly had everything that I love about the genre, and the ending especially was deliciously satisfying!”

The Unfortunate Side Effects of Heartbreak and Magic by Breanne Randall

“This book is the witchy romance of my dreams. As promised, it is a perfect mix of Practical Magic and Gilmore Girls with magic laced through every page,” writes Bookseller Delaney W of this tale packed with family secrets, a magical curse, and the return of a lost love. “This is an absolute must-read for those who find comfort in the strong bond between Lorelai and Rory and who wish they could have midnight margaritas with Sally and Gillian.”

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated Rosalind Harvey

This novel about two close friends making different decisions about motherhood is shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize and NetGalley reviewers easily see why. Librarian Ezra F called it “a searing novel on violence, female empowerment, and the vitality of choice, presented in a scintillating translation.” Reviewer Caleb B agrees, saying, “In this beautifully written, moving novel, Nettel explores ideas related to motherhood and what makes a mother a mother… Nettel does a fantastic job weaving several stories of several women and children together to show what it means to be a woman and a mother in a real way. Heartbreaking and yet hopeful, this is a must-read for just about anyone.”

From Dust to Stardust by Kathleen Rooney

Take a journey to old Hollywood in this historical novel inspired by the life of silent film star Colleen Moore. “I was absolutely absorbed in this novel,” raves Reviewer Rebecca P. “You really felt for the main character’s struggles with family life, career, and romantic relationships. It explored fighting stereotypes, friendship, family values, love, domestic violence, and of course Irish folklore. It was just a wonderful read. [If you] loved Taylor Jenkins Reid‘s Evelyn Hugo then you will fall in love with Doreen O’Dare.”

The Hundred Loves of Juliet by Evelyn Skye

Evelyn Skye makes her adult debut with a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. “Wow, just wow… By far one of the best novels I’ve read so far this year,” writes Reviewer Jenah R. “Beautifully written retelling of the classic story of Romeo and Juliet with all the twists and turns. This book is as if historical fiction and contemporary romance had a baby. I couldn’t put it down and when it ended I wanted it to just keep going and going.”

Trouble the Living by Francesca McDonnell Capossela

In this fall release, Francesca McDonnell Capossela explores the relationship between a mother and daughter and their connection to the Troubles in Northern Ireland. “This book had me hooked in the best way. It is such a beautiful and devastating story set across Northern Ireland during the Troubles in the late 90s and California in 2016,” writes Bookseller Amanda A. “[It’s] a story of family, mothers and daughters, trauma, violence, choice, religion, and enduring love. One of the best books I’ve read this year and I can’t wait to tell people to buy it!”

Hold My Girl by Charlene Carr

“I was spellbound from start to finish,” raves Librarian Tyya S in a five-star review of Charlene Carr’s novel, in which two women who visited the same IVF clinic learn that their eggs were switched. “​​In Hold My Girl, Charlene Carr unflinchingly pulls the reader into the broken hearts and spiraling minds of two mothers thrust into an unimaginable situation. With poignant insight and—at times—unsettling accuracy, Carr has crafted a compelling, intensely propulsive page-turner and a deeply emotional exploration into the very essence of what it means to be a mother.”

Under the Influence by Noelle Crooks

Are you looking for a great summer read? Educator Leslie M called Under the Influence “a perfect book to bring to the beach” and Librarian Nicole R agrees, saying, “[it’s] hard to believe this was the author’s first book because it’s well-written and the characters are so very clearly defined that it all was believable.” Best described by Educator Devon G as “a fun mix of The Devil Wears Prada with influencer culture,” the novel follows Harper Cruz as she leaves the New York publishing industry to begin working for Charlotte Green, a self-help influencer with a following of devoted fans. Harper is swept up in the glamour of Charlotte’s world but soon realizes that everything is not what it seems.

What’s the last 5-star women’s fiction book you read?

Please note that some reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.

Stuff Your Shelves

Kelly Gallucci

Kelly Gallucci is the Executive Editor of We Are Bookish, where she oversees the editorial content, offers book recommendations, and interviews authors and NetGalley members. When she's not working, Kelly can be found color coordinating her bookshelves, eating Chipotle, and watching way too many baking shows.

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