And I mean in a novel.
We have been to several author talks here-all of them save one by women authors and successful ones-- and almost universally attended by women. And what these large groups of women seem to want are novels that 1) instruct us in life 2) offer multiple opportunities to cry 3) confront a topical issue 4) work well for book groups 5) skip any fancy prose and instead tell a straight forward story 6) have the sort of humor I find too cliched to be funny. The words I heard over and over again: I cried.
What do you want from a novel? Do you want to be taught something about life? Is that the job of a novelist? Do you want to confront life issues such as assisted suicide, school bullying, children with physical troubles in every novel you read? When did this trend begin?