Review: Women Float

Book: Women Float by Maureen Foley
Publisher: CCLap Publishing, 2013
Genre: Novella
Source + Date Read: Received this book in exchange for an honest review + May 2013
Recommend: For those that an enjoy a good soul-searching short story.
Book Pro’s: Emotional and riveting novella. Features diverse characters and interesting real life situations.
Book Con’s: Win isn’t particularly charming or warm. But maybe, that’s actually a strength in the book.

Summary: Lonely California pastry chef Win never learned how to swim, despite growing up just miles from the Pacific Ocean. Even Janie, her flaky pro-surfer single mother, couldn’t convince her to brave the water, solidifying Win’s fear when she leaves her at the tender age of 9. But when Win turns 29 and decides to take swimming lessons for the first time—finally confronting her hydrophobia and trying to make sense of why her mer-mother suddenly swam off all those years ago—she must also deal with a desperate crush she’s developed on her New Age neighbor, mysterious postcards that keep arriving in the mail, and her bad habit of pathological lying.
More Information: GoodReads

I am a damned sucker for a mermaid. I’m obsessed with them really, and it was what drew me to the book. CCLaP truly know what they’re doing, they make such beautiful books!

Set in granola-crunching California! Foley does a great job of setting the scene, the description of the town, the food, even the scenes are amazing. You really feel like you’re there. Plus, she made me want to try a vegan cake or two.

This review will be a short one, like the novella. First of all, Women Float is a truly emotional and riveting tale. Win, the central character in the novella, has a lot of issues and at first, she doesn’t do a very good job at dealing with them. She’s a pathological liar and in love with her neighbor/best friend. She’s haunted by her mother’s abandonment 20 years ago, and as such has developed such severe hydrophobia that she doesn’t go near the stuff. Win isn’t a particularly warm or loving character. I didn’t like her very much but I think that is actually good. She’s flawed, she’s human. She lies, she’s emotional, she’s a bit crazy and has issues. It’s a testament to Foley’s brilliant writing style really, because I’m sure that everyone who reads Women Float will find some flawed and broken part of Win in themselves. I think that’s why I was so uncomfortable with her.

To Foley’s credit as well, she doesn’t keep her characters in a rut, but rather gently pushes them to nirvana, to find a sort of peace in themselves. By the end of the book, Win has done an about-face and kind of transformed herself into someone similar to her mom (or at least that is what I took from it). It’s the journey that matters though, it’s the 100 pages in between that hold the truth.

Plus, Foley’s descriptions of Win’s confectionery delights made me beyond hungry. Amazing book!



About Claire (BWB)

It's Claire (aka Quirky) from Bitches With Books, an online book blog that serves up a healthy dose of book reviews, lists + literary madness.
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5 Responses to Review: Women Float

  1. Pingback: Claire’s Reads 2013 | Bitches With Books

  2. Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader says:

    I’ve had great luck with the books I’ve read from this small press 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed this one!

  3. I’m definitely going to read it! Sounds great!

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