In honour of International Women’s Day, have a leaf through some of these books with diverse, empowering and relatable female characters whose resilience and internal strength inspire us.
“Anne of Green Gables” by Lucy Maud Montgomery
A heartwarming classic which tells the story of Anne Shirley Cuthbert. Readers get to witness the protagonist’s transformative journey from an insecure, impulsive, orphaned girl to a mature and educated young woman. We follow her life journey from the moment she was accidentally adopted by Maurilla and Matthew, and are brought along as she grows up and are taught important life lessons along with her. This story is the full package; Anne is a lovable and inspiring protagonist for all readers, the writing is detailed and pleasurable to read, the story is action-packed but realistic at the same time.
“Kim Ji-Young, born in 1982” by Cho Nam-Joo
This book is an international sensation which sparked a new feminist movement in Korea. It tells the story of the titular character, who represents an average woman in Korea, and it follows her psychic deterioration as she navigates through the changes in her life with gender inequality and sexism. The book represents how women face systemic misogyny in all stages of life. Written in minimalistic but impactful prose, the book is easy to follow along and short to read.
“Girl, Woman, Other” by Bernardine Evaristo
This novel follows the stories of 12 very interesting characters, mostly Black and British women, detailing their life experiences in the country throughout the years. Every character has their own story, and it is effectively told by the author, in a way that, even if you cannot relate to it, you can empathise with the character. It is a moving novel with a unique but appropriate structure to its writing.
“Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This novel is an emotional rollercoaster, as the author brings us on a journey of discovering Evelyn Hugo – an iconic starlet famous for her acting, beauty and her seven husbands, as she tells her own story truthfully, and without others’ judgements, for the last time. This book shows the trials and tribulations of fame and shows how women were exploited in the entertainment industry. Evelyn is a compelling and ambitious woman and this novel is full of plot-twists and tearjerking moments. It is so well-written and captivating, that once you finish reading this book, it is difficult to believe that everything you have learned about Evelyn is pure fiction.
“Cruel Prince” by Holly Black
“Cruel Prince” is the first book of “The Folk of the Air” series, a fantasy trilogy which follows Jude Duarte, a human teenage girl, living in a faerie world, where she gets mistreated and underestimated simply for being human. But Jude believes that “If I cannot be better than them, I will become so much worse”, and that is exactly what she does. To put it simply, Jude is a badass girl who wreaks havoc in the fairy kingdom, trains herself to become a professional spy all while gaining the attention and eventual affection from the faerie prince who once despised her.