The title of Leonard Pitts’ column on Dec. 7 caught my attention: “Today’s the day I say goodbye to Stephen King.” He’s discovered he is biased. That’s right: he rarely reads women authors. He has vowed to designate 2020 as the Year of Reading Women. What a manly thing to realize and own up to.
As he puts his male authors to the side for a year, I’d like to recommend one of my favorite contemporary women authors: Kristin Hannah. A former lawyer, she left that profession to write fiction. Several of her novels are historically based. For example, "The Nightingale," was on the best-seller list a few years ago. In it she details the lives of two sisters who live in France during WWII. As the Nazis occupy France, a German captain requisitions the home of one sister in a small village. The other sister joins an underground French resistance movement. Their parallel stories show how the horrors of war affect the common citizens of a country. Spell-binding story writing at its best.
Another novel of historical significance is Hannah’s "Winter Garden." Once again, this author plums the horror of war as she profiles a woman trying her best to survive a brutal winter in Russia when the German’s invade her country. The story is multi-layered, multi-generational and nuanced in presenting how the past influences the present lives we live.
Mr. Pitts, grab a Kristin Hannah novel and begin reading. Enjoy!
Jean Chapman, Bakersfield