Read It!

By Nicole McManus

These three novels stress the importance of friendship. Each book showcases strong, brave women, facing unthinkable life-changing events. These stories will transport you to a different place and/or time. These are books that you will want to read and discuss with your friends.

The Sweeney Sisters, by Lian Dolan

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia have grown apart over the years. When their literary giant of a father passes away, a childhood friend appears with a shocking secret that changes everything. Questions abound and tensions rise, as the sisters try and reconcile with their parents’ past. Will the new developments bring everyone closer together or will the news be too much to handle?

This is the first book that I have read by Lian Dolan, and it won’t be the last. Rarely does a cover truly match the characters in a book, but this one did it perfectly. This book would be ideal for a reading group, or a group of friends, as they can contemplate the good and bad that comes from all of the new, easily-accessed DNA tests. However, this is also a perfect beach day read to escape into the secrets of the Sweeney family.


Fast Girls: A Novel of the 1936 Women’s Olympic Team, by Elise Hooper

The year was 1936 and the games are held in Nazi Germany. Even more nerve-wracking this was the first year for integrated women’s competitions. Three brave women from very different backgrounds hope to compete in the 1936 Olympics. Betty Robinson came back a hero from the ’28 games, but almost lost her life in a crash. Louise Stokes hopes to prove to the world that she can win, while Helen Stephens never dreamed the Olympics would be a possibility.

We may not be able to enjoy the Olympics this year, but for us fans, we can dive back into history with this fascinating book. Whereas The Boys in the Boat and The Three-Year Swim Club are nonfiction reads, this book is historical fiction. This is a wonderful book that readers will absorb into their souls. Readers will want to do research on these three remarkable women after reading this book. These brave women overcame horrific obstacles and discriminations while becoming Olympic icons.


We Came Here to Shine, by Susie Orman Schnall

Max wants to be taken seriously as a journalist, but in 1939, only a man’s voice is heard. Vivi is an actress, but she has to perform as a synchronized swimmer at the World’s Fair if she wants her career to be a success. Both women are facing insurmountable hurdles, yet when they meet an unbreakable bond is formed.

This book proves perseverance and friendship can conquer all. Sometimes you just need your best friend to understand your hardships. This historical fiction novel throws readers into the hubbub life of New York in the ‘30s, and is a fast read leaving readers wanting more. I will be on the lookout for more books by this author.

About this writer

  • Nicole McManus

    Nicole McManus loves to read, to the point that she is sure she was born with a book in her hands. She writes book reviews in the hopes of helping others find the magic found through reading. Contact her at ariesgrlreview.com.

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