What a Woman Must Do
What a Woman Must Do (back cover)

What a Woman Must Do

A Novel
“A satisfying read with a heartwarming ending.” —SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
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In What a Woman Must Do, Faith Sullivan returns to the yearning hearts and small-town secrets of Harvester, Minnesota. When Celia Canby and her husband are killed in a car accident, her aunt Kate and cousin Harriet are left to raise her daughter. Ten years later, it’s the early 1950s and the three generations of women, bound together by love, blood, and circumstance, are drifting apart. Teenage Bess is soon to leave for college—but is tempted to stay by a handsome married man. The practical Harriet is finally granting herself an opportunity for romance. And Kate, suffering through a rapid physical decline, watches them both and remembers the joys and pain of her youth.

Affecting and affectionate, What a Woman Must Do is a tender voyage to Sullivan’s “reliably inviting world” (Wall Street Journal) and a timeless meditation on love, loss, and the desires and sacrifices of strong-minded women.

Publish Date
8.5 × 5.5 × 0.8 in
10 oz

Faith Sullivan

Faith Sullivan is the author of many novels, including Gardenias, The Cape Ann, What a Woman Must Do, and, most recently, Good Night, Mr. Wodehouse. An indefatigable champion of literary culture and her fellow writers, she has visited with hundreds of book clubs and lives in Minneapolis.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Imagine, if possible, an antebellum Southern Gothic love story combined with a Virginia Woolf novel, and transported to Harvester, a Minnesota prairie town, in the early 1950s… . What a Woman Must Do draws the reader in.”

    Washington Post
  • “Faith Sullivan’s books are a reliably inviting world, full of friendly faces and intimate dramas… . However you first make your way to Harvester, you’ll want to return.”

    Wall Street Journal
  • “This novel has a kind of gentle gravity and sweetness… . Faith Sullivan’s pleasantly low-keyed, third-person narrative takes us back to a simpler, more innocent-seeming time and place, which turns out to be full of complicated human beings.”

    Los Angeles Times
  • “Faith Sullivan weaves stories of ordinary women into an absorbing novel… . A satisfying read with a heartwarming ending.”

    San Antonio Express-News
  • “The pages can’t turn fast enough. Faith Sullivan is a good storyteller and the peaceful, rural backdrop she sketches stands in poignant contrast to her sympathetic characters’ struggles with temptation and conflicting loyalties.”

    Publishers Weekly