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Barbara Claypole White

Barbara Claypole White grew up in the English village of Turvey with big dreams of becoming a novelist.

After a detour through womens and medieval history at York University, she landed a job promoting London fashion.

She was part of the first British Designer Show, measured celebrities in their underwear, and worked for the queen of the international rag trade, Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Five years passed; then Barbara learned she was pregnant, and her husband was offered a distinguished professorship at UNC Chapel Hill. The family moved to the North Carolina forest, and Barbara became a stay-at-home mom and a woodland gardener factors that would shape her writing voice. She returned to her manuscript, took evening classes in writing at the local arts center, and slammed into another detour: her young son developed obsessive-compulsive disorder.

From that moment, fascination with mental illness framed her life. She ditched her first novel and began writing Dogwood Days, which turned into The Unfinished Garden. She also joined a nonfiction project for parents of children with invisible disabilities and blogs through the highs and lows of OCD at

(Her son is now an award-winning poet and musician attending college in the Midwest.)

Genres: Literary Fiction
Barbara Claypole White recommends
Softer Than Steel (2015)
(Love & Steel, book 2)
Jessica Topper
"Pitch perfect Escapism!."
Everything We Keep (2016)
(Everything We Keep, book 1)
Kerry Lonsdale
"A stunning debut with a memorable twist, Everything We Keep effortlessly layers family secrets into a suspenseful story of grief, love, and art. This is a gem of a book."
The Truth We Bury (2017)
Barbara Taylor Sissel
"What would you do if your grown child was implicated in a brutal murder? As evidence mounts against a missing decorated marine, his mother and future mother-in-law, two women who share nothing but the need to protect their adult children, become unlikely allies. Both women have already lost so much, but in the race to uncover the truth and catch a killer, they find courage and compassion. As family secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed, they also find the strength to take ownership of their own mistakes. A gripping book club read!"
Daughters of the Night Sky (2018)
Aimie K Runyan
"A breathtaking novel inspired by a little known moment in WWII history. Even though I finished Daughters of the Night Sky days ago, the scenes are still playing in my head. Katya is an outstanding heroine: a strong woman determined to follow her passion, but also driven by duty and love. And her fellow Night Witches are glorious characters. I miss them and the vivid scenes set within the planes, at the front, and in war-torn Eastern Europe. This is a story I won't soon forget."
Digging In (2018)
Loretta Nyhan
"I want to scream my love for this book from the rooftops. What a delightful, funny, authentic, wise story about the healing power of gardening and the struggle to root yourself in the untilled land of grief. With a full cast of unique characters, Digging In is a must-read for anyone seeking pure entertainment."
This I Know (2018)
Eldonna Edwards
"A remarkable, inspiring story about clairvoyance, faith, and opening your heart—and mind—to the truth. I will not soon forget Grace Carter, the young preacher’s daughter with a unique interpretation of the world. Her kindness, her resilience, and her gloriously quirky voice have me shouting to readers everywhere, ‘I love this book!’"
When Never Comes (2018)
Barbara Davis
"When Never Comes is another winner from Barbara Davis: a contemporary mystery that connects a husband’s betrayal to childhood trauma and broken promises. Christy-Lynn’s story is about resilience and vulnerability; about the ways we hurt and the ways we heal; about huddling in self-protection but opening up to the possibilities of love."
Whisper Me This (2018)
Kerry Anne King
"Rich in emotions and characters, Whisper Me This is a stunning tale of dark secrets, broken memories, and the resilience of the human spirit. The novel quickly pulls the reader onto a roller-coaster ride through grief, mystery, and cryptic journal entries. At the heart of the story is an unforgettable twelve-year-old, who has more sense than most adults, and her mother, Maisey, who is about to discover not only her courage, but the power of her voice. A book club must-read!"
The Testament of Harold's Wife (2018)
Lynne Hugo
"The Testament of Harold's Wife is a glorious--and unique--tale of tragedy, resilience, and one kick-ass grieving widow and grandmother. I laughed, cried, and cheered as Louisa talked to her pet chickens, splashed bourbon in her tea, hid 'Glitter Jesus' around the house, and wrestled with revenge. Louisa captured my heart, and I will never forget her."
Wildland (2020)
Rebecca Hodge
"An adrenaline-pumping story about survival, acceptance, and courage, Wildland is a page-turner with a fearsome heroine."
Queen of the Owls (2020)
Barbara Linn Probst
"Queen of the Owls is a powerful novel about a woman’s relation to her body, diving into contemporary controversies about privacy and consent. A ‘must-read’ for fans of Georgia O’Keeffe and any woman who struggles to find her true self hidden under the roles of sister, mother, wife, and colleague."
The Moon is Missing (2020)
Jenni Ogden
"With gripping scenes set during Hurricane Katrina and on a remote New Zealand island, this tightly-woven family drama --fueled by long-buried secrets and a daughter's desperate need to answer the question, 'Who am I?' -- is ripe for book club discussion."
A Song for the Road (2021)
Kathleen Basi
"An emotionally complex story about reconciling love with loss, and the healing power of music…I loved every scene from the first to the last."
The Road to Me (2022)
Laura Drake
"An unforgettable story of self-discovery and surival, reconciliation and redemption."

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