Chapter 52 - Strong Women
As you know I love historical fiction. One of the beauties of well written books is the ability to transport you to a different time, and experience things in a way that you might not otherwise be able to. Fiction, of course means that the story is contrived, made up, and otherwise, well, fictional. Even if the setting is real in a general historical framework, the story is just that, a story. One of my favorite works of fiction involves a very strong-willed female protagonist. What’s interesting is that she isn’t really a likable character. She is shrewd, cunning, manipulative at worst, clueless within the bubble of her upbringing and surroundings at best.
Yet the story is written in a manner that evokes empathy, even if the main character is somewhat dislikable. Hers is a story of what happens when the framework you have grown up in is turned upside down by war, illness, financial hardship and events over which you have no control. Faced with each of these our heroine, (if she can be called that), finds ways to overcome and adapt. The choices she makes are not always popular, but they are each rooted in a desire to survive. Throughout the ever-mounting series of tragedies and misfortunes, she finds a way to adapt and salvage. The trickle down effect is that she brings those she loves with her as well.
So in an era where writers are championing strong women as the main character of books, I am still a fan of Margret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. It may cause some to be uncomfortable, but I don’t think it was written to glorify a period in time, but to tell a tale, in a historical context. of one woman’s struggle.
Some other books with strong female leads and uncomfortable topics:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
Cilka's Journey by Heather Morris
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
Do you have a favorite book with a strong female protagonist? Let me know!