I’ve developed a couple of things that I do now and again, such as my previous Liked This? Read That! posts, and this is my latest addition: Five Books With… . I’ll be doing posts with this title beginning, but different endings, fairly regularly. It’s always nice to have something different to come back to, keeping the blog full of fresh posts. I know I get bored of repetition and I highly suspect you all do too. So here’s the first in the series.
Sometimes, what you need in life is a good book, and for me that normally means a book with a strong female lead. It doesn’t matter what genre you prefer to read; with this selection, I’ve got you covered. From classics to fantasy, here are five books with strong female leads.
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
There’s no way we can talk about strong female leads without talking about Little Women. Following the lives of four sisters – Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy – this novel is now suggested to be semi autobiographical, loosely based around the life of the author and her sisters. Jo, Beth, Meg and Amy are all strong and powerful in their own ways, holding firm to their beliefs in what is right for them, and for each other; what else is family for than telling what to do? The story follows their heartaches and difficulties as they grow up in semi-poverty, their father away in the American Civil War, and their own flaws challenging their very foundations. This beautiful classic shows the vibrancy of different characters, and how you can be strong in all sorts of ways.
Circe – Madeline Miller
Circe was one of my top reads when it came out in 2018. Not only is it stunning to look at – and I am a sucker for beautiful covers – but the tale it tells is one that is devastating in its power. When Circe is born, she isn’t considered of much consequence – until the strength of her witchcraft powers become apart. Banished by Zeus out of fear to a deserted island, she hones her powers and becomes a force of nature that has gone down in legend. This book gives us Circe’s version of events, and how shows just how much strength can be found when you shed the fear that was holding you.
A Court of Thorns and Roses series – Sarah J. Maas
I’ve talked about both book one and book two so far with plans for reviews for three and four, and all my fingers crossed for an ARC of book five. Feyre has one of the most powerful character arcs in any series, developing into the powerful of people, magically and emotionally. She is prepared to do anything for the people she loves, and especially as a mortal in book one, she stands up to the most terrifying things, aware of the impending death she may face, and powers through anyway. Alongside her are a cast of other strong women, most notably Morrigan and Amren, who, as the 2nd and 3rd in the Night Court, hold power in their own ways, and work alongside Feyre to change their world.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January – Alix E. Harrow
January captured my heart at the beginning of the year. This beautiful book shows what can happen when the world tries to crush you – and you say no. There is magic in the book, yes, but the real magic comes from within the character. She pushes back against every barrier that is placed in her way to fight back, and to remain true to herself. Having been treated as a novelty factor by her keeper, she says ‘no more’ – and changes everything.
The Animals at Lockwood Manor – Jane Healey
Told from the perspectives of two different women, The Animals at Lockwood Manor is a historical fiction tale that looks at the strength it takes to not fit the mold you’ve been forced into. From romantic inclinations to wanting the same respect as a man in the 1940s, both voices give us something to feel, and aspire to in their power, and sheer force of will that is required to be who they are in the times they are facing.
These books, and these women, have all left an impact on me, and are books I recommend if you need a boost from a woman-focused world. Tune in again soon for another Five Books with a different theme.