Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel is a roman à clef about a young woman who after a chance meeting in 1969 decides to relocate to the Biscayne Bay area south of Miami. Basically she meets a boy who lives on a house on stilts and is so smitten with both him and his house that she misses enough days of work that's she's laid off. She takes that as a sign to move down to live with her boyfriend full time.
As this is women's fiction (and not, say a bodice ripper), the book chronicles their time together. They are married by the second chapter. By the third chapter their daughter has had her first period — and yes, that's in there too. And by the end of the book as you expect things to come to a quiet close, the husband is ill with ALS. Cue the sad, swelling music and roll the credits.
I chose the book because of its location. A location can drive the plot, bring out interesting characters. Here, we have hippies and drifters growing old, responsible and I guess, stagnant. The setting could have been ANYWHERE — which depending on your idea of a good novel, is either a good thing, or a frustrating thing.
For me, it's the latter. I am not cut out for reading "women's fiction." I'm not sure I'll ever be. If you are a fan of the genre, you'll probably get more satisfaction out of reading it than I did.