5 Female Literary Characters I'm Crushing On

I love great characters. The only thing I love more is great FEMALE characters. (The Future is Female, didn’t y’all hear?) I particularly love female characters who break stereotypes (hello, Gina Linetti!) and add diversity to what we see, read and listen to.

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Speaking of, I recently read I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith for book club and Cassandra, the protaganist, was one such character. She witty – often without knowing it – and has that innocent perception of the world around her which is hilarious as well as accurate. She is unashamedly herself, poetic nuances and all.

It got me thinking about other female characters I’ve loved. You know, those characters you start talking about like they’re real? You feel so invested in their lives that you start thinking about them all the time, wondering what’s going to happen to them and what they might be thinking and feeling. Replaying scenarios over and over in your head. No? Just me. Awkies.

Moving on.

So I wanted to compile a 5-to-try of my favourite female literary characters. 5 characters it’s impossible to not want to be besties with. I’ve mentioned most of these books in 5-to-try’s before, so I apologise for that. But if you haven’t yet read them, this might be the sign to do so. (Hint: it is.)

1. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Knowing I have a thing for fantastic female characters, a friend recommended I Capture The Castle to me, and she was not wrong. Cassandra, as mentioned, is a crack up. She witty, honest, smart and so innocent.

Dodie Smith is best known for The Hundred and One Dalmatians, which Disney obviously adapted (bet you didn’t know it was a book!), but I like this better. It’s a vintage classic and likely to be a bit different to books you normally read, but I’m all about expanding them horizons (as well as that bass, no treble).

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2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I know, I know. I've mentioned this book recently but I REALLY enjoyed it. The story is about Lily, who lives in South Carolina in America, and is obsessed with the mother she lost as a child. Determined to connect with her, Lily goes on a quest learn more about her mother after she finds herself in a bit of trouble with the law.

Lily has a similar feel to Cassandra – an innocent perception of the world that is actually full of understanding, loves to write, does her best for the people around her and is ultimately always herself. Lily isn’t the only brilliant female character – there’s a few – as well as a new religion based on woman. (You’ll read what I mean.)

(P.S. The title of this book can completely throw you off – yes, bees feature but it’s a metaphor. It’s not some documentary-style book.)

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3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Again, I know. I’ve recommended this book A LOT. I would like to think I started a trend as it’s everywhere at the moment. However I’m self aware/realistic/not an egotistical maniac and realise it’s because it’s a bloody good book. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is one of my top 5 reads for the YEAR. That’s right people, the YEAR. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine and Isabel Sandercock-Brown (me) is completely in love with this book.

Eleanor is one of those characters who make you feel ~all~ the feels. You get so frustrated by her, feel immensely sorry for her, love her and laugh at her, and by the end you just want her to be happy. See? ALL the feels.

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4. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

One of my favourite books/series of all time. How can you not love Anne with an e? (Rhetorical question.)

I’ve read the Anne of Green Gables series approximately 7 times, and I love them every time. Anne is a weird, and awkward child, full of imagination and hope. She’s not society’s definition of attractive, but she’s smart, clever, strong and vibrant. She grows into herself and it’s such an accurate journey of what it’s like to be a woman.

Ah, Anne. I love you. We should be bosom buddies.

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5. The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Lucy Robinson

I know that review quotes on the front of books aren’t always accurate. Often it’s an author who’s friend with the author and they’re like, “Greg’s written a cracker!” Or it’s from some obscure magazine that’s no one’s ever heard of saying “Best read of the year!” But the quote on this book is 100% accurate:

“Romantic and laugh-out-loud hilarious” Cosmopolitan

I know this as I’ve tested this book on multiple friends and all of them ticked yes to the LOL’s in my follow-up survey. Fran is HILARIOUS, and you will likely relate to her at least once as she searches for a happy ending to her love story. She should be called LOLcy Robinson! (I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s got into me. But please don’t let that deter you, it really is a good book.)

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Do you have any other book recos that have fabulous female lead characters?