Today’s prompt for the Bib li o phile Friday is strong female leads and as soon as I saw this prompt, I knew I had to do it. If you aren’t aware, Bib li o phile Fridays is a meme hosted by Whoo Gives A Hoot and Foxes and Fairy Tales! So let’s just jump right in.
The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
This book revolves around mother/daughter relationships and all of the women in this book are strong females! encompassing many years, this novel looks at the sacrifices we must make to be a mother. Relationships are broken, trusts is betrayed, and forgiveness is tested. Taking you on an emotional rollercoaster, this book will make you cry, make you hope, and make you feel betrayed. It is full of rich characters who have to make impossible choices. If you can remember a time when you felt betrayed by your mother, you know the pain and the confusion. Perhaps you even know the rocky and slippery path of forgiveness.
Having a rocky relationship with my non-existant birth mother, this book was touching and deeply emotional. We can all relate to the pain and misunderstandings that we bring to those we love the most.
If you want to read more of my thoughts, check out my review here.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Vasya is our fierce, but young heroine who is driven by a desire to protect her people, even at her own peril. She must fight against both the supernatural and the religious in order to save her village, despite her outcast status. For Vasya sees things no one else seems to be able to, and the future of her village lies in what is unseen.
She reminds me of the Tamora Pierce heroines from my childhood and I found in her a childlike joy as well as a noble pursuit of justice. Selfless to a fault, Vasya is how I would have wanted to be as a young woman. In her I found strength the ability to fight not only for those who cannot, but also for those who fear you.
If you want to read more of my thoughts, check out my review.
And finally, to round out my trio…
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
I feel like I have talked about this book so much that you must be tired of hearing about it! But the main character has to be one of the strongest female protagonists I have read in a long time.
Exiled by her society, Sunja bears the shame of her baby alone, until a young pastor offers to save her honor and spirit her away. However, living in Japan is hard as his salary does not allow much, but what is more challenging is the blatant racism and prejudice they feel. Told over a span of years, this novel explores the struggles of identity and shame they feel throughout their lives: as some cope better than others.
This book is a fantastic family drama that is not only focused on the family interactions, but also on the way we internalize our identity from society. It was heartbreaking, while at the same time uplifting. Sunja’s life is full of surprises, tragedies, and danger. Throughout it all, she perseveres and defies cultural limitations.
If you want to read more, please read my review here.
Comment your favorite female lead novel! I can always read more of those.
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If you liked this, you may like a previous Bib li o phile Friday.