First Ladies
By Marie Benedict

Mary McLeod Bethune descended from parents who had once been enslaved. She was born free as the 15th of 17 children in a rustic log cabin in South Carolina. When a teacher in her small country schoolhouse witnesses Mary’s abilities, she helps her obtain a scholarship for higher education. Ultimately Mary establishes a school for girls (later renamed Bethune-Cookman University) in Daytona Beach, Florida. Mary sacrifices her life fighting for civil rights, equality and women. At first glance, Eleanor Roosevelt couldn’t be more different, yet when the two women meet they are instantly two peas in a pod, sharing the same goals and beliefs. Although Eleanor hails from one of the most prominent families in America, she feels an immediate connection to Mary, and their friendship blossoms. Eleanor is on board with Mary’s struggles, and what begins as a whisper in Franklin’s ear becomes a groundbreaking speech for the world to hear. Their agenda places Mary in federal positions, and with Eleanor at her side the world can no longer ignore her pleas. Through decades of disappointments and incredible triumphs, Mary and Eleanor never lose their faith. A powerful and inspiring journey of friendship and history. 

Looking for Jane
By Heather Marshall

In 1971 Evelyn and Maggie become friends under the harshest of circumstances. They have been sent to a home in Toronto for unwed “fallen” women. These young ladies are barely out of their teens when they become pregnant, and their distressed families have them spend the months prior to delivery in a horrific home run by the church. Evelyn and Maggie cling to each other during the hardest days of their lives. With no outside contact, the girls are shamefully coerced to repent, put their babies up for adoption and keep this all a secret. In 2017, Angela finds a letter in the antiques shop she manages. Buried deep in a drawer, the tearful saga details a dying mother’s wish to tell her adopted daughter the truth of her birth and reveal what little information she has hidden. Angela, who is struggling through infertility procedures and knows she is adopted, feels deeply for these strangers. She begins researching various names and events and in the process makes a terrifying discovery. Loosely based on actual events, this ugly truth is a difficult but necessary read, especially due to the recent changes taking place with abortion legislation.

Finding Margaret Fuller
By Allison Pataki

In 1836, Margaret Fuller visits philosopher and author Ralph Waldo Emerson. She is welcomed to the family’s home in Concord, Massachusetts. Next door lives the Alcott family (Louisa May is a child) and Henry David Thoreau, a young man who helps around the house. Emerson was anxious to meet this female, unmarried author who was making a name for herself as the best-read person in New England. Margaret’s lifestyle was often criticized, as wives frowned upon their husbands’ dizzying displays of attention to Margaret’s every thought. Expecting a boy, Margaret’s father had decided to raise her as one through education. After his passing, her family struggled, and the pressure was on Margaret to venture out in the world and earn a living. That responsibility, coupled with her love of learning, led her to build a network of friendships with some of the most prestigious people of the time. When Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, sends Margaret overseas, she becomes the first female news correspondent. This true account reads like a fascinating novel filled with the rich history of a woman who should have been a household name, but never was. 

#WorthWatching: You can watch “She Said,” streaming on Prime Video and Apple TV. This compelling true tale follows two female journalists from the New York Times as they uncover one of the most significant stories for contemporary women. Their revelation dismantles years of abuse and sexual assault in Hollywood, sparking a pivotal shift in American policy.