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FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 19th – April 25th

This week we're sharing our favorite family sagas, mysteries, romances, historical fiction and more. Enjoy them all!

Welcome, literature lovers, to the FIRST for Women weekly book club!

Here at FIRST for Women, when we’re not hard at work bringing you stories about health, nutrition, beauty and lifestyle, we like to kick back with a good book.

We know firsthand that reading provides relief from stress, improves brain health and ushers in more joy. So we rounded up our editors’ top seven book picks — of new and old favorites — for  April 19th – April 25th, 2024. We cover family sagas, mysteries, romances and more. Keep reading for all of the FIRST book club picks!

We’d also love to hear what books you’re reading this month and how they made you feel!

Mystery: Darling Girls 

by Sally Hepworth 

Darling Girls by Sally Hepworth  (FIRST Book Club)
St. Martin’s Press

“I will read anything Sally Hepworth writes,” says Patty Bontekoe, FIRST Executive Editor. “She has a way of capturing family drama like no other!” Jessica, Norah and Alicia were raised by a foster mother who seemed lovely from afar, but was cruel behind closed doors. Now adults, they’re brought back to the foster home when human bones are found buried underneath it. Who is it? And what really happened? “The story is told from all three of the women’s points of view in the present and past, giving true insight into each character,” says Patty. “The bonds they formed despite their trauma reminded me how strong women are and the power of female friendship — and the twist at the end left me reeling!” (St. Martin’s, 2024)

Family Saga: Pride and Joy

by Louisa Onomé 

Pride and Joy by Louisa Onomé (FIRST Book Club)
Atria Books

“After a long week, I needed to unwind,” says Carissa Mosness, FIRST Assistant Digital Editor. “And this humorous book enthralled me!” After the Okafor family’s matriarch, Mama Mary, dies before her 70th birthday party, everyone is taken aback. Except Auntie Nancy, who believes Mama Mary will rise again on Easter. However, Mary’s daughter, Joy, is planning the funeral, much to Nancy’s dismay. What follows is an illuminating saga filled with complex family dynamics as the Okafors prepare their hearts for loss, while holding out hope for a miracle. “After I turned the last page, I wanted to reread it again,” says Carissa. “The memorable cast of characters really stayed with me.” (Atria, 2024

Fiction: Mrs. Quinn’s Rise to Fame

by Olivia Ford

Mrs. Quinn’s Rise to Fame by Olivia Ford (FIRST Book Club)
Pamela Dorman Books

“My best friend and I share a love of books and baking television shows,” shares Kate Arcell, FIRST Associate Editor. “So this heartwarming book about a baking show was the perfect fit for our April book club!” As her 60th wedding anniversary approaches, 77-year-old Jenny Quinn is ready to do something just for herself for the first time…ever. When the opportunity to apply for the hit TV show Britain Bakes presents itself to her, she secretly decides to send in her application to be a contestant. She ends up being accepted, and Jenny shines doing what she loves. But the cameras, timed challenges and her newfound baking fame start to bring up old memories and even more secrets she’s held on to for years — some of which may even threaten her marriage. By putting a new spotlight on her life, Jenny worries she could be baking up total mayhem. Says Kate, “This story made me laugh, cry and remember that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.” (Pamela Dorman, 2024)

Romance: Hedging Your Bets

by Jayne Denker

Hedging Your Bets by Jayne Denker (FIRST Book Club)
St. Martin’s Griffin

“I was prepping for a long travel day when I spotted this bright, spring-themed cover,” shares Lauren Stachiw, FIRST Beauty Director. “Then, when I learned it was an opposites-attract romance, I was sold!” After many failed dates, Gillian directs her attention to the local gardening competition. The only problem is that her new neighbor, Noah, enters the contest too. Will their banter and fiery competition blossom into something more? Says Lauren, “As I turned the last page, I had the biggest smile on my face.” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2024

Historical Fiction: Queens of London 

by Heather Webb

Queens of London by Heather Webb (FIRST BOOK CLUB)
Sourcebooks Landmark

“I loved Heather Webb’s Strangers in the Night, so I couldn’t wait to grab her newest novel — and it didn’t disappoint,” says Rebecca Haynes, FIRST Deputy Health Director. Alice Diamond is the leader of the Forty Elephants, a network of girl thieves in 1920s London, and she’s the target of Lilian Wyles, one of Scotland Yard’s first female detectives, who wants to put Alice behind bars to prove herself. Says Rebecca, “I felt inspired by these women and how they reclaimed their power!” (Sourcebooks Landmark, 2024)

Suspense: The Last to Vanish

by Megan Miranda

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda (FIRST Book Club)
S&S/ Marysue Rucci Books

“Rainy weather kept me indoors last weekend, and I was restless,” says Anna Traver, FIRST Assistant Editor. “But this thriller really got my adrenaline pumping!” This tale follows Abigail Lovett, who lives in a mountain town called Cutter’s Pass at the edge of the Appalachian Trail. But this picturesque town has a long history of disappearances. Then Abby finds startling evidence. Will she uncover the truth? “Miranda makes you question everyone—and weaves in a genius twist!” (S&S/Marysue Rucci, 2022)

Magical Realism: Old Flames and New Fortunes

by Sarah Hogle

Old Flames and New Fortunes by Sarah Hogle (FIRST Book Club)
G.P. Putnam’s Sons

“One of my favorite parts of spring is gardening,” says Shay Trotter, FIRST Associate Editor. “So when I heard every chapter in this book was named after a flower, I just had to check it out! ” Set in a magical town, the tale stars Romina Tempest, who is a flower whisperer. When an opportunity arises to speak with an investor about buying the flower shop, Romina gets wrapped up in a lie about dating her best friend, Trevor. Then her ex-flame Alex enters the picture again. Says Shay, “This second -chance romance is a delight!” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2024)

For more FIRST Book Club picks:

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 12th – April 18th

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for April 5th – April 11th

FIRST Book Club: 7 Feel-Great Reads You’ll Love for March 29th – April 4th

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