Every woman has milestone moments to experience, survive and overcome, some of which are often considered rights of passage. This month we shine the spotlight on midlife transitions and open the doors to that stage in our lives many dread. It is not just a physical change, but a psychological perspective that forces us to stop and re-evaluate the chosen paths. Gone are the days when women were anchored to school calendars and carpooling for the children, but how do we navigate these new and seemingly treacherous waters from here on?

Change of Life (Curiosity Quills Press)
by Samantha Bryant

With great power comes … great frustration.

Several months after the events of “Going Through the Change,” retired corporate vice president (and occasional lizard-woman) Patricia O’Neill is embroiled in a search for the mad scientist who brought the “change” upon them all.

Meanwhile, Flygirl Jessica Roark and gender-bending strongman Linda/Leonel Alvarez have joined a mysterious covert agency known only as The Department. They’re training hard in hopes of using their newfound powers for the greater good. Patricia thinks they’re being used. Cut off from the other menopausal heroes, she’s alone, and her search has hit a serious dead end. Then Patricia disappears and all the clues point to a dead man. It’s up to her friends and The Department to find her and bring her home.

 The Unbreakables (Harper Paperbacks)
by Lisa Barr

After discovering her husband’s infidelity and her best friend’s betrayal, 42-year-old Sophie Bloom flees her hometown Chicago for Provence to heal and reinvent herself. In her twenties, she received wide acclaim as a gifted young sculptor only to let go of her dream once her daughter was born. Sophie focused her energy on being a mother, a wife and promoting other artists’ work, putting everyone else’s needs above her own. But now it is finally her turn. She is determined to rediscover her joie de vivre — a lust for life, passion and art. As she sheds her past and travels her obstacle-filled journey, Sophie is determined to sculpt a “real” masterpiece — her own life. Allowing her true self to emerge in the postcard beauty of Provence, she must decide what is broken forever and what it means to be truly unbreakable. 

 More Than (Red Adept Publishing)
by Diane Barnes

Peggy Moriarty’s life has been focused on being a single mom to her twins, Grace and Greg. When the twins leave for college, they give Peggy a gift certificate for an exercise class. At first, Peggy is insulted. But once the sting wears off, she realizes if she gets in shape, she might gain the confidence she needs to go on her favorite TV show, Messages from Beyond, and talk to her late husband one last time. With help from her new friends at the gym and Carmen Tavarez, the mother of Grace’s boyfriend, Peggy begins to emerge from her shell and spread her wings. She may soon discover that her sum is more than a mother, a widow and her body.

 The Eves
by Grace Sammon

When the psychologically-complex Jessica Barnet finds herself “of a certain age” and face-to-face with a midlife crisis, she lets go of her ambitions and her appearance, but not her vodka or her sense of loss and guilt. Her relationship with her children has always been the foundation for her existence, but when that is torn away from her, she is convinced that she is “done.” 

When Jessica meets a group of women of color living on a sustainable farm in Southern Maryland, she begins to see a path to life after motherhood and careers. Each of the women shares her own story of empty-nesting, challenged careers and adjusting to their post-menopausal bodies.  When their stories are told, it helps each of us answer the question, Are we ever done?

 The To-Hell-And-Back Club (Vol. 1) (Pandamoon Publishing)
by Jill Hannah Anderson

Peyton Brooks, a newly-empty nester with a comatose marriage, loses her three best friends in a car crash and reaches out to women in the To-Hell-And-Back Club, hoping they’ll help resuscitate her life.

Through the “Hell Club,” Peyton learns that it’s never too late to begin again. These been-there-felt-that women use their sense of humor, strength and support to help pull her off the couch and back to living her life. She puts an end to her troubled marriage and rebuilds the life she’d put aside two decades ago. But when Peyton digs up time capsules she and her friends buried years ago and uncovers secrets about those she loved, she struggles to keep her own life-changing secret buried.

When Peyton’s secret is discovered, she’s going to need the “Hell Club” women more than ever. It’s never too late to start over and live a life free of regrets. 

 Finding Family (Wild Quail Publishing)
by Judith Keim 

One of three sisters, a mother and a wife, Sheena Morelli rediscovers the woman she really is …

Sheena Sullivan Morelli and her sisters, Darcy and Regan, receive the unexpected news that their Uncle Gavin Sullivan, the black sheep of the family, has left them a hotel on the Gulf coast of Florida. The gift comes with a twist. They must live together for one year at the hotel and prepare the hotel to receive guests within that year. Sheena, the mother of two teenagers and the wife of a man who spends most of his time working, is eager to escape her role of unappreciated wife and mother. Feeling lost and wondering what the future will hold for her, she can’t wait for the opportunity to find herself. Dreams of sitting on the beach sipping margaritas are shattered when they see the property is in need of renovation. But they begin their work of meeting the challenge. If they succeed, the bulk of Gavin’s estate will be theirs. Facing the unexpected and working together, the three sisters learn a lot about each other and the gift of family love.