In lieu of International Women’s Day, I’m going to share with you my top 5 favourite novels that have really strong and independent heroines — and none of those heroines include Bella Swan (sorry to all you Twilight fans).
Here’s my list (in no particular order):
5) The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
While I have not yet finished this beautiful novel, I have noticed the strong female characters that grace the pages. There are three protagonists in the story — Cassandra, Nell and Eliza. All three women narrate the story during different eras, but each have their own streaks of independence and believe that they don’t need a man to rescue them or solve the secrets of their pasts.
4) Emma by Jane Austen
For the Regency Era, Jane Austen wrote a surprisingly witty, independent character with a strong sense of who she is. From the start, Emma made sure everyone knew that she didn’t need a man to make her happy because it was her place in life to make others happy. Did her plans always work out? Of course not, but that’s half the fun and enjoyment of it all.
3) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Okay, so she may not be the main character from Harry Potter, but I would have been stupid not to include Miss Granger in my list of strong heroines because she is the picture of what a strong, independent and perfect role model should be. In more than one instance, she saves her friends’ lives and is at the top of her class. Sure, she’s a girl and has feelings — but she doesn’t let those feelings get in the way of what’s important to her.
2) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
So this is another classic, and it was a tie between Jane Eyre and Elizabeth from Pride and Prejudice, but Jane Eyre is an amazing character who has such strong sense of self and morals. She knows who she is and doesn’t sacrifice herself to fit in or please others. Despite her love for Mr. Rochester, she leaves him and comes back to him on her own terms.
1) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
When I think of a kick-ass heroine that doesn’t give a crap about what others think, the first person I think of is Lisbeth Salander. While I haven’t read the series in its entirety, I know from what I’ve read and from watching the movie that Lisbeth knows exactly who she is and won’t back down for nobody. As scary as she may be, she really does mean well — and that’s what counts, right?
There are so many novels out there with wonderfully independent female characters that it was really hard to choose. So what do you think? Agree or disagree? Who are your favourites and why?