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Novels Featuring Women on the Brink

They say it’s a man’s world—which makes living in it as a woman, at times, hard to handle. Take some time to escape from societal expectations and uncomfortable norms by immersing yourself into a stack of novels that feature woman letting go, letting lose, and doing things their own ways.

The Daughter Ship by Boo Trundle

“Wild as stormy water, turbulent as a human heart, The Daughter Ship is a novel like none you’ve ever read before.” —Julia Phillips, author of Disappearing Earth (National Book Award Finalist)

Lost creative soul and suburban mother of two Katherine must confront her past, as her inner children—Truitt, Star, and Smooshed Bug—narrate the story of her life while stuck inside an imaginary, sinking submarine.

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Your Driver is Waiting Your Driver is Waiting by Priya Guns

“What you are about to read is a call to arms. Best to prepare for a confrontation.” —New York Times Book Review

When Damani—who lives paycheck-to-paycheck by driving for an app—meets Jolene—a rich, attractive “ally”—they seem like an unlikely pair to say the least. But when their romance goes up in flames, the repercussions could be truly explosive.

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Nightbitch Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder

“A must-read for anyone who can’t get enough of the ever-blurring line between the psychological and supernatural that Yellowjackets exemplifies.” —Vulture

The mother used to be an artist, until she put her career on hold to take care of her child. But two years into toddler naps, snacks, and tantrums, she starts noticing some strange changes: course hair on her neck, sharp canine teeth, and an inexplicable craving for raw meat. As she struggles to come to terms with her new canine urges, she meets a group of mommies involved in an MLM who might not be exactly what they seem.

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Motherthing Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

“A quirky, gruesome, utterly original feminist horror experience.” —The New York Times Book Review

Abby Lamb never got along with her mother-in-law Laura. But she never expected that living with the cruel woman would only become harder after she dies. When Laura commits suicide, Abby finds herself terrorized by a ghostly force intent on destroying everything she loves. To break Laura’s beyond-the-grave hold on the family, Abby will have to enact a truly chilling plan that requires ingenuity, determination, and a unique recipe for chicken à la king…


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We Ride Upon Sticks We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry

“Spellbinding, wickedly fun. . . . Each sentence fizzes like a just-opened bottle of New Coke.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

The Danvers High School varsity girls’ field hockey team of 1989 will do anything to win—even if it means signing a dubious pact with a sinister force in an Emilio Estevez notebook. Following the diverse cast of characters through their exploits on and off the field, this is a devilishly humorous look at friendship, femininity, 80s fashion, and girl power.

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Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell

“Soulful and gripping . . . In her debut novel, Warrell assembles a lush orchestra of female voices to sing a story about passion and risk, fathers and daughters and the missed opportunities of unrequited love.”  —The Millions

Circus Palmer is an unrepentant jazz man with a penchant for leaving women in his wake—from his tormented ex-wife to his teenage daughter to the on-again, off-again lover who’s pregnant with his child. In this stunning debut, the women usually sidelined in stories about bad boys get their due, weaving a stunning tale of love, loss, and learning to embrace your own power.

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Very Nice Very Nice by Marcy Dermansky

“A juicy tale of bad behavior…. Very Nice gets pretty mean—but gloriously so.” —Entertainment Weekly

Rachel Klein’s very nice kiss with her creative writing professor was never supposed to turn into him becoming a houseguest at her sprawling Connecticut home. Nor was Zahid’s stay at Rachel’s parent’s place supposed to turn into an affair with her mother. But as the summer unfolds between sweltering New York streets, snooty MFA programs, and sparkling vacation swimming pools, all of their lives will be forever changed.


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Sedating Elaine Sedating Elaine by Dawn Winter

“A brilliantly quirky, surreally funny story…. An intriguingly headstrong yet vulnerable character with an astonishing talent for making the worst possible life-decisions.” —Sarah Haywood, best-selling author of The Cactus

Elaine was supposed to be Frances’s one night stand. But, somehow, between Elaine just not leaving and Frances’s drug dealer Dom pressuring her, a temporary fling turned into a live-in girlfriend situation with a sex-crazed maniac. Obviously, to keep her sanity and somehow escape the relationship, there’s only one thing left for Frances to do: sedate Elaine.


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Wayward Wayward by Dana Spiotta

“Exhilarating … reads like a burning fever dream. A virtuosic, singular and very funny portrait of a woman seeking sanity and purpose in a world gone mad.” —The New York Times Book Review

Samantha Raymond’s life is unraveling, between her ill mother, her remote teenage daughter, and the endless creep of time. So, when she finds a stunning yet decrepit house in a rundown neighborhood in Syracuse, she does the only logical thing: she buys it and abandons here life—and family—in the suburbs to rediscover herself in a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams.

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