Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Strong Women

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is all about strong women.  I love reading a great book with a main character who can take on anyone - physically, yes, but in other ways even more so.  This is kind of a mix of that physical power and the other kinds of strength that I so admire.

Anne from Anne of Green Gables:
While I love Anne for her imaginative mind, I also love that she doesn't let anybody run her over.  She stands up to Gilbert right from the start for teasing.  She doesn't let a single person who says things that hurt get to her.  She fights for everything she wants and she gets it. 

Jo March from Little Women:
Ok, this list is looking familiar already, right?  Well, I can't pass Jo up.  She is stubborn and she won't settle.  I was quite happy she told Laurie how they wouldn't be a good couple (even though I wanted them to be together).  I was happy she chose a different path for herself.  She was not afraid of being unconventional and sticking out like a sore thumb.

Queenie and Maddie from Code Name Verity:
Despite the fact that Queenie continues to tell us she's a coward, she has her own strengths, her own limits, she fights back in the best way she knows how.  Maddie, too, is a fighter to the end.  She won't give up on finding her friend and doing all she can to save her.  Their friendship is a beautiful example of strong women who stick together.

Prue Sarn from Precious Bane:
Prue is one very smart and very strong woman.  She faced seemingly unbeatable odds for her time, being born with a hare lip, and she doesn't ever seem to give up.  Her life is hard and she accepts that and still works for the things she wants. 

Jacky Faber from the Bloody Jack series:
Hey, they can't all be serious choices :)  I love Jacky for her spunky ways and her inability to be good.  I love how she can get her way out of any situation and doesn't require saving.  She's such a fun, flawed, tough character, you can't help but root for her.

Enna from The Books of Bayern:
I loved Enna from The Goose Girl, but she really came into her own in Enna Burning.  I love how she is a no nonsense kind of girl.  She wanted something and she went out and got it.  But best of all, when she needed help, she was strong enough to accept it.

Saba from Blood Red Road:
It's been a while since I read about Saba (hopefully I'll get Rebel Heart soon), but I remember a truly tough girl. She grew up in a harsh world and learned how to survive it from the start.  When tragedy happens in her family, she doesn't sit around moaning about it, but goes out and does what needs to be done.  Can't wait to follow her around some more.

Alanna from Song of the Lioness:
If anyone deserves to be called strong, it's Alanna.  She knew exactly what she wanted and she did anything and everything to get it.  She was not blocked by the constrictions of her time; she did not accept that women could only fill a certain role.  She took on danger and death in order to live the kind of life she wanted.  And I love how much more she wanted from life, especially near the end of the series. 

Corrie and Betsie from The Hiding Place:
I couldn't help but include some nonfiction here.  I think this book has left a bit impression on my soul.  The deprivations and horrors Corrie and Betsie experience in a concentration camp should have left them empty.  Instead, the two were able to find strength and optimism.  Even more, they were able to bring that strength to others around them in that dark place.  These women exemplify what it truly means to be strong.

And I'm kind of going to cheat on my last one.  While thinking about all these strong women I read about, I just kept thinking of my sister.  She lost one of her sons this year and she has been through so much in her life already.  I remember thinking of all the people, why did she need more sorrow in her life?  But my sister has been able to lift and influence those around her despite these personal tragedies.  At the funeral, she spoke about her son and the wonderful memories she has of him.  I think it requires great strength of character to get up and speak during such a hard time, but she is the kind of person who wanted to do it and so just did.  Sorry to get all personal on you, but she exemplifies the kind of person I want to be, especially during hard times.  :)

And on that note, what characters (or real life folks, if you want) are your favorite strong women?

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  1. What a beautiful note for your sister.

    For other strong female characters, I would say Lena and Ruth Younger from Raisin in the Sun (just read that and loved it), all the female characters from The Dovekeepers, and Celia Bowen from The Night Circus. But also those female authors who have pushed new boundaries--obviously Austen, Bronte, and crew, but also Mary Roach, Pam Houston, and Ann Patchett.

    1. Thanks, Nikki! I hadn't thought about authors - I love including them in our strong women list.

  2. I love that Elizabeth is on your list. I would've put her on my list too if I did one today.

    And, I think your sister is a great addition to your list. :) I can only imagine how hard it would be to lose a child and remain strong.

    1. Thanks, Jenni. She's been an inspiration to me for sure!

  3. Definitely Katsa from Graceling. And possibly Bitterblue and Fire.

    1. They are fighters and tough women for sure! And each rather different, too.


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