Awards: Best Women’s Fiction Books of 2020

Every year our readers vote on the most popular books of the year. This year, our She Reads awards nominations for Best Women’s Fiction Book of 2020 highlighted some of the best books of the year. See who was nominated and which book won the title of Best Women’s Fiction book of the year.


The nominees for Best Women’s Fiction Book of the Year are:


Luster by Raven Leilana

When Edie loses her job and can no longer afford rent, she moves in with her lover, Eric, who has an open marriage with his wife, Rebecca. They also have an adopted 12-year-old black daughter, Akila, to whom Edie becomes a role model since she is the only black woman she knows. Raven Leilani’s Luster is a portrait of a young black woman trying to make sense of her life.


28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

For 28 years, Mallory Blessings and Jake McCloud have managed to have a successful affair by meeting only once a year during Labor Day weekend at her beach cottage in Nantucket. However, Mallory soon learns she is dying, and when she instructs her son Link to reach out to Jake, he wonders how she knows a presidential candidate’s husband.


Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

When she was 16, Emmie Blue released a balloon into the air with her name, email address, and a note full of secrets she needed to get off her chest. A few weeks later, in France, Lucas Moreau finds the balloon and instant messages her forming a friendship. 14 years later and Emmie is still obsessed with Lucas and has secretly been pining for him for years, but when she learns he will be getting married, Emmie realizes that she doesn’t know much about life and love.


The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

At 17, Lakshmi leaves her abusive marriage and heads to Jaipur, where she becomes a well known Henna artist and confidante to wealthy women of the upper class. However, Lakshmi knows she can never reveal her secrets and possibly ruin her reputation. Yet, when her vengeful husband tracks her down with her younger sister, whom she had never met before, accompanying him, everything is on the line for her, but Lakshmi knows she can persevere. 


In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

Things seem to be going well for Dannie Cohen: she aced her interview at a law firm, and her boyfriend has just proposed to her. When she goes to sleep later that night, Dannie dreams five years into the future where she is married to a strange man she’s never met, but when she wakes up from the dream she can’t shake it and things only get worse when her best friend introduces Dannie to her new boyfriend, the man from her dreams. For the next five years, Dannie does her best to stop destiny from happening.


His Only Wife by Peace Adzo Medie

When seamstress Afi Tekple’s mother convinces her to marry wealthy businessman, Elikem, Afi must leave her small village in Ghana for the wealthy capital of Accra. Afi does nothing but cook meals for a husband who may or may not come home to enjoy them, but the only reason she stays is to give her mother financial security. However, what if she doesn’t see it through?


The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

As a 14-year-old girl in a rural Nigerian village, Adunni faces many struggles to receive an education so that one day she can escape the poverty she was born into. Though there are plenty of obstacles thrown in her path, Adunni never loses sight of what she wants: to find her “louding voice” so she can escape poverty and one day she can help other girls like herself.


Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano 

191 people died in a plane crash, but there is one survivor, 12-year-old Edward Adler. Edward lost his parents and brother in that crash, as well as a piece of himself. Feeling like he will never get over the grief of his story and the loss he experienced, Edward makes an important discovery of a few things about moving on and finding purpose.


Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi 

Gifty is a PhD candidate in neuroscience studying addiction and depression in mice at the Stanford University School of Medicine. However, she is haunted by addiction and depression since her own brother died from a heroin overdose and her mother is suicidal and never leaves her bed. Wanting to figure out why, Gifty is determined to do so through science even though fragments of her childhood faith and the evangelical church draw her in with the promise of salvation.


The winner of the 2020 She Reads Award for Best Women’s Fiction is:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

In 1954, at the age of 16, identical and light-skin twin sisters Desiree and Stella Vignes ran away from their home in Mallard, Louisiana, and headed to New Orleans. When Stella learns she can pass as a white woman, she soon disappears to California without telling her sister anything. In 1968, Desiree leaves her abusive husband and heads back to Mallard with Jude, her 8-year-old daughter, but when Jude grows up, she goes to college in Los Angeles where she sees a woman who can be her mother’s doppelgänger, but it’s actually Stella who has been living her life as a white woman.


Click here to see the rest of the She Reads Best Books of 2020 Winners

She Reads Editors

The She Reads Editors are always scouting the best books for all your #TBR piles. We’re offering up our favorite books, from classics to debuts, bestselling to the next big thing. Read along with us on social, too!

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