Jodi Picoult (pronounced pea-KOH) is a popular author that writes what is often viewed as Women's Fiction or Chick Lit (though both genres are different). While some of her books touch on similar themes that Women's Fiction explores, it is much more than that. Picoult herself has a lot to say on the matter. She says that her books "straddle genres" and I think she's quite right! On the FAQs page of her website, she addresses the question of genre:
I hate being pigeonholed. I have always been called a women’s author, but 49% of my fan mail comes from male fans, and I think you can legitimately label my novels as legal thrillers, mysteries, romances, or plain old fiction. I think you can consider my books literary, because they make you think, or commercial, because they are a compelling read. Marketing departments like to label authors with just one tag, so that they know how to promote a book, but I think the best books straddle genres and attract a variety of readers. I’d like to think this is one reason my books appeal to people - because I give them something different every time.
I think she’s hit the nail on the head here. Picoult doesn’t really stick to one genre, unless you just consider her a writer of fiction. While I have yet to read all of her novels, I have read many of them and enjoyed each one. She tackles different subjects and themes, but there is one thing that remains consistent: Picoult weaves great stories while keeping them engaging and accessible.
First things firstIf you are a fan of Jodi Picoult, you likely already know which are her best, and where to start. But if you’ve stumbled on this post having heard of Picoult but not having read (m)any of her books, I’ll give you a starting point!
Her most recent: The Storyteller (2013), and Leaving Time (2014).
If you've read and enjoyed her books (as I have), you might enjoy the authors I'm going to talk about today. The authors I'm going to mention are not the same as Jodi Picoult—no two authors are the same—but I find a lot of their books have a similar feel!
Kristin HannahHannah also “straddles genres” as Picoult would say. When asked about her books, Hannah said that she “blend[s] a lot of elements from popular genres into [her] work because [she] love[s] reading so many kinds of fiction.” Just like Picoult, you could pick up one of her books and find yourself immersed in the past, or maybe a legal thriller, or maybe a story of family. No matter what though, you are promised a good page-turner!
I recommend: Magic Hour
Her latest: The Nightingale
Diane ChamberlainChamberlain focuses on the relationships between people that emerge, and become tested through the difficulties of life. These difficulties are in the same range as the themes Picoult writes about—tragedy, loss, family, mystery. Her books will stir emotions and keep you turning the pages!
I recommend: Necessary Lies
Her latest: The Silent Sister
Heather GudenkaufGudenkauf’s books generally revolve around a crime or tragedy of some kind. From there, the characters that people her books each come to terms with it in their own way. I love her books because not only do I get a good mystery, I get to connect with the characters on an emotional level, and there is so such character growth! Gudenkauf often uses multiple perspectives to layer her stories. Picoult does this often, too!
Her latest: Little Mercies (which I’ve also read and recommend!)
Christina Baker Kline
Kline explores the themes of self-discovery and personal growth, the catalyst of which is often a tragic or traumatic event. Again, she is one of those writers that “straddles genres,” and this is much to our benefit!
Liane MoriartyMoriarty writes about many things but her themes often come back to family. She is witty and humorous while tackling larger subjects. Her website describes her novels as, “often funny, sometimes sad, stories about families and relationships and the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.” That sounds like a pretty apt, and interesting, descriptions of her work.
I recommend: The Husband’s Secret
Most Recent: Big Little Lies
This next author writes more on the Women’s Fiction side of things. There is a thread of that can be found in some of Picoult’s books, and, if you enjoyed that thread, I think you will like this author!
Jane GreenGreen is probably my favourite author of Women’s Fiction. Her books focus on a female protagonist and their growth in the wake of challenging circumstances.
From her website: “Initially known for writing about single thirty-somethings with her trademark wisdom, wit and warmth, Green has graduated to more complex, character-driven novels that explore the concerns and conflicts of real women’s lives, from marriage (The Other Woman) to motherhood (Another Piece of My Heart) to divorce, stepchildren, affairs, and most recently, midlife crises (Family Pictures and Tempting Fate).”
Her latest: Saving Grace
Joshilyn JacksonThis is the only novel I have read by Jackson, but I quite enjoyed it and its ability to generate important discussions. I don’t know much about Jackson’s other works, but many of them sound intriguing and are on my TBR. I think that if you like Picoult, you might like this novel as well!
What do you think? Have you read any novels by these authors? Do you agree that they would suit lovers of Picoult's work (and vice versa)? What other authors and novels would you recommend to those that love Jodi Picoult?