To round up this week of shunning the patriarchy I thought I’d give you my top 5 strong independent women in fiction. Please leave more in the comments below (I want to read all the strong women!!!) and I’ll put links down south if you fancy reading my suggestions.
- Hermione Granger
Duh. She was always going to be top of my list. Let’s face it Harry and Ron would have been brown bread mid-way through Philosopher’s Stone if Hermione wasn’t around. She taught girls everywhere (me included) that it was OK to be brainy, bookish, and bossy. All hail Queen Granger.
- Felicity Montague
In one of my recent favourite books, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, and its sequel The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, Felicity Montague takes no prisoners. A girl trying to be a doctor in the 1700s and taking down her brother’s privileged male BS one snarky comment at a time is always a winner. All while talking openly about sexuality, femininity, periods, and massive dogs (the last one is irrelevant to the feminism thing, but I love big dogs and I cannot lie). Not to mention the portrayal of mental health is excellent in everything Mackenzi Lee writes.
- Celaena Sardothien
Whatever anyone might say to the contrary I was powered up by the portrayal of Celaena in Throne of Glass. She’s fierce, badass, and unapologetically feminine. I have no issue with women not wanting to be ‘girly’, but it often seems we’re demonising all the traits that are stereotypically feminine now-a-days. I like pink, playing about with makeup, dying my hair blonde, and I get a lovely feeling in my chest when I see a nice pair of shoes. I’m still a strong independent woman, thank you very much.
From Code Name Verity Queenie is raw and emotional for most of the book (under the influence of torture) but the witty voice, and some later revelations, show a form of inner strength all too often forgotten when authors want to show ‘strong women’ on the page. Mental strength, if anything, is a greater form of true strength and I’d love to see it more in fiction. And may I just mention, hallelujah, historical women who aren’t just darning socks, getting married to rich but repulsive men, and bonking the servant! (Oh, and a beautiful female friendship. More of these, please.)
Originally from Greek myth Madeline Miller smashed it out the park again when she wrote her own portrayal of the goddess Circe. She lives on an island with other banished women, seeks revenge by turning men into pigs, enjoys sex (with the men she doesn’t turn into bacon…), and proves all the haters wrong by being unashamedly badass.
I won’t put my own characters in this list because…that would be weird, but I do have some strong independent women lurking in my prose and I’m SO excited for the world to meet them one day. The querying continues, although full requests have been made so keep your fingers, toes, and other extremities crossed!!
These are the Hive links–a UK site which supports indie bookstores on the high-street! I’ve stopped linking people to Amazon. If you want the zon find it yoself…
Throne of Glass: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Sarah-J-Maas/Throne-of-Glass/11660140
Code Name Verity: https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/Elizabeth-Wein/Code-Name-Verity/16387924