When I first started seeking out science fiction novels written by female authors several years ago, this was one of the first that made it to my list. I've been meaning to read Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang for ages. It has won multiple awards, is part of the Science Fiction Masterwork series, and has been highly recommended to me numerous times. After finally reading it, I know it truly deserves all that praise.
I can't think of very many books about clones off the top of my head, which is surprising considering the scientific advances we've made in that area over the past few years and the huge potential (both positive and negative) human cloning has for radically changing our society. Kate Wilhelm explores the myriad implications of cloning to great extent here, but it doesn't come off as preachy. While some would consider this hard-sf, the technobabble is kept to a minimum. At its heart, this is really a story about family, and conformity versus individuality. How much of your own self should you sacrifice to ensure the survival of your siblings, your neighbors, the rest of the human race?
While the storyline was fascinating on its own, I also really liked the writing style. It's kind of Philip K. Dick meets Margaret Atwood. There are some uncomfortable subjects here, from incest to mass murder, but the prose is beautiful and clear. This one might be moving to the favorites list.