Once in a while you come across a book that has the power to pierce through your heart. A Monster Calls is one such book. Written by Patrick Ness, it is a story about a young boy with an ailing mother at home. It covers a range of somewhat difficult topics ranging from death to guilt.
7 Novels With Memorable Female Characters
Share this with your loved one
Like me, do you crave books with quirky, strong, and fun female characters too? Because, I’d rather not read any more about women that are tragic, struggling, or simpering, waiting for a glance from a hard-hearted (but rich!) man to give meaning to her life. Fortunately, over the years, I’ve discovered a few that have featured memorable female characters. Yes, men and love are involved, but they do not define her. She has a unique and strong voice. Often weird. And either, I’m like her, or I want to be like her!
Below is a list of the novels with strong female characters I’ve enjoyed immensely. And if you seek strong women in your fiction, I hope you will, too.
Written by Madeline Miller, Circe is a retelling of The Odyssey from the point of view of Circe, who has long been vilified as a vengeful witch but Miller presents her a relatable character, who is at first, lonely and yearning to be loved, but later uses her powers to vanquish her enemies and turn adverse events to her advantage. The mythical aspects of the story are no less engrossing, and we meet familiar figures such as Odysseus, his son Telemachus, Zeus, and his daughter, Athena, through the course of the narrative. Circe is being turned into a mini-series by HBO.
THE RED TENT
Another historical novel, The Red Tent, written by Anita Diamant, tells the Biblical story of Dinah, daughter of Jacob and Leah. ‘The Red Tent’ refers to a space where women needed to go in ancient times while menstruating or giving birth. Crazy how such things still happen. The book is an entertaining retelling of several popular biblical stories with a strong emphasis on female friendship and bonding and how we need to stand up for one another. Dinah is a powerful and endearing character who takes us along the journey with insightful observations. It was a life defining read for me when I read it in the late nineties.
THE PALACE OF ILLUSIONS
Keeping with the trend of retellings, The Palace of Illusions is a rich recounting of the Hindu Epic of Mahabharata from the point of view of Draupadi or Panchali, the fire-born princess of Panchala. Written by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, this magical book takes us into the life of the brave and beautiful Draupadi, tied accidentally into a polyandrous marriage. The book is a roller coaster ride of wars, tragedies, unrequited love, periods of wonder and joy, and how one woman keeps her head up while everyone else is losing theirs. This gripping mythological fiction novel is an easy introduction to the Mahabharata and should be a recommended read for girls in India.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO
What I wouldn’t do to be as kick-ass as Lisbeth Salander — the heroine of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — the first of the Millennium series. The books are written by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson and published posthumously. As I read the series, I was rooting for Lisbeth and imagining myself to be her, punching and kicking baddies. To top it all, she also has a photographic memory and mind-boggling hacking skills. Read the book series to soak yourself in Swedish noir and fight along with one of the most admirable underdog female characters.
Also read : 5 Anti-Heroes From Literature
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SINGS
Where the Crawdads Sings, authored by Delia Owens, is a beautifully written coming-of-age fiction novel that features a loner, thinker, and seeker. As I read about her life, I shed a few tears, because she seemed so much like me. The book follows the life and adventures of Kya as she grows up isolated in the marshes of North Carolina. When two young men from town become intrigued by her, she opens herself to a new life — until the unthinkable happens. The book is simultaneously a murder mystery which keeps the pages turning.
WHO IS VERA KELLY
Who is Vera Kelly is the first of a fun spy fiction series featuring CIA Agent Vera Kelly. We are in Vera’s head as she breaks into homes and interrogates people, sneaks in the dark and puts listening devices in crevices, and does other curious spy like things. Vera’s voice is witty and sharp and draws you in from the first page. The first book is set in the politically tumultuous Buenos Aires and functions as a travelogue, too. I have a weakness for fiction which fulfills many needs and I try writing in a similar vein— fun heroines in exotic locations. Many for the price of one.
EAT, PRAY, LOVE
At one time, a necessary breakup ritual — Eat, Pray, Love, written by Elizabeth Gilbert, recounts her travels to Italy, India, and Indonesia in the aftermath of her divorce. What I loved about the book is not only that it is a fun travelogue, but Gilbert is vulnerable in it, making us root for her, and cheering her along in her journey of self-realization and love. She is constantly battered and bewildered, but raises her head above water, looking at the future. Which made me think: life didn’t need to be perfect and I ought to embrace everything, good and bad, and simply savour the perfect moments in them. Deep.
Smita Bhattacharya writes cosy and psychological thriller mysteries. Her DARYA NANDKARNI SERIES, featuring an amateur female detective, has all that readers love: an exciting mystery, an escape to unknown lands, and the familiarity of lovable and relatable characters. Darya is imperfect and gutsy and uses her cleverness to navigate through life and solve the many bizarre mysteries that are thrown along her way. It’s a fun set of stories that will surely keep you turning pages. Learn more about Smita on her website.
Share this with your loved one
They say that sometimes the journey is more interesting than the destination. This couldn’t have been truer for Buddha. The world today knows him as