Book Review by Heidi Simmons

The joy of reading often comes when our parents read to us as children.  The time together with a book was always special.  Mother’s Day is a perfect opportunity to say thank you for instilling the love of reading by giving Mom a book.  Here are some ideas for you.


The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (Morrow, 427 pages)


This is a psychological thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she has witnessed a crime in a townhouse across from her.  Self-medicated, depressed and afraid, she must confront her fears, face reality and question her sanity.

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (Riverhead Books, 463 pages)

When a young woman meets her feminist idol, the older woman becomes her mentor and soon discovers a boyfriend is no longer the most important thing in life.  The young woman begins to tap into her own ambitions and finds a new strength and ability she did not think was possible.

America is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo (Viking, 416 pages)

This is not an anti-American story, but just the opposite.  This is a story of three generations of women in one family.  The first generation of women gave up their homeland and family to move to America.  It was not an easy start.  These women struggle to balance the promise of the American dream and the unshakeable grip of history.


Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life From Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (Vintage, 370 pages)

From the bestselling author of Wild, Strayed puts together a collection of the best of “The Rumpus’ Dear Sugar” columns.  It’s always good to hear Strayed’s good sense of humor along with her honesty, compassion and insight about the world and living life.

Mother: A Cradle to Hold Me by Maya Angelou (Random House, 32 pages)

Renowned poet and a national treasure, the late great Angelou celebrates the first woman we ever know – our Mothers.  With stories of courage, strength and wisdom, this is a book of appreciation and inspiration.

All These Wonders: True Stories About Facing the Unknown forward by Neil Gaiman and edited by Catherine Burns (Crown Archetype, 327 pages)

A collection of true stories told by well-known and celebrated authors that include Meg Wolitzer, John Turturro, Hasan Minhaj and others celebrates life with passion and humor encouraging us all to be more open, vulnerable and alive.


The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (Random House, 225 pages)

A bold and free spirited woman learns that even the strong and brave of heart can fall.  After a personal crisis, Levy re-evaluates her life capturing a portrait of our time and the shifting culture of change.  Control is an illusion.

The Gospel of Trees by Apricot Irving (Simon & Schuster, 373 pages)

A woman recalls her life as a child of missionaries who spent years in Haiti.  The book begins here in the Coachella Valley on the family’s 80-acre date farm.

For some, Mother’s Day can be hard when the idea of “mother” means something other than being loved and nurtured.   If you or someone you know struggles with a difficult mother-daughter relationship, I recommend Daughters Betrayed by Their Mothers by Holli Kenley (Healing Press, 260 pages).  This is a healing thoughtful book about finding your own truth.

I’m grateful that my Mom read to me as a child.  It instilled in me an absolute love of story.  Happy Mother’s Day!

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