When I review the the books I liked best in 2014, I see that many were light and involved women, some of them "of a certain age," finding their ways. Here's the list:
Under the Wide and Starry Sky - Nancy Horan. Amazing fictional biography of Fanny van de Grift and Robert Louis Stevenson, ranging from France to California to Samoa.
Longbourne - Jo Baker. Pride and Prejudice as seen through the eyes of the servants.
A Single Thread - Marie Bostwick. First in the "Cobbled Court Quilts" series.
The House at the End of Hope St. - Menna van Praag. The house only appears to those who need it.
Lost Lake - Sarah Addison Allen. Another mystical family story.
Through the Evil Days - Julia Spencer-Fleming. Latest in the series featuring Claire and Russ, set in the middle of an ice storm in a remote area of the Adirondacks.
Sweet Expectations - Mary Ellen Taylor. A young woman returns to the family bakery in Alexandria, Va., to keep it going. (I also read The Union St. Bakery)
Goodnight, June - Sarah Jio. Story about a Seattle bookshop run by a friend of Margaret Wise Brown.
The Care and Management of Lies - Jacqueline Winspear. What were the women doing while the British men were off at WWI?
The House on Tradd St. - Karen White. First in a four book series set in ghost-ridden Charleston. I gobbled them up, one after the other.
The Long Way Home - Louise Penny. This mystery does not disappoint a long-time fan. Probably the best book of the year!
Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good - Jan Karon. A welcome reunion with the Mitford characters in Karon's wonderfully funny style.
Still Life with Bread Crumbs - Anna Quindlen. Wonderful story of a middle-aged photographer finding love in unexpected circumstances.