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December 2, 2018

4 New Books with Strong Female Main Characters

by Susan Roberts

I love to read books with strong female main characters who can handle whatever the world throws at them.  I have reviews of 4 new books today with strong women ranging from teenagers to grandmas.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Girls on the Line by Aimie K. Runyan 

Girls on the Line
November 2018; Lake Union Publishing
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); historical
I love reading historical fiction when I am given not only a fantastic story but have the opportunity to learn about something that I knew little or nothing about. Aimee Runyan has done considerable research into the Army Signal Corps during WWI and their need for women operators to go overseas to help with the communications of the war. This was at a time in history that women's main goal was to marry well and spend their days taking care of their husbands and families. It was because of women who were willing to step outside society's norms that women finally got the opportunity to vote.

Ruby was 24 years old. As a member of high society in Philadelphia, she was engaged to another prominent member of society. While he was away in the war, she took a job for the telephone company. She loved working and when there was an opportunity for the best of the best to get a job with the Army as a member of the Signal Corps, she applied and was accepted much to her parents' dismay. After training, Ruby was sent to war-torn France to work in communications. Not only is she totally out of her comfort zone but she has to prove her worth as a member of the army to the male members of the Army. Will she be able to return to her society life or will her experiences as a woman who helped win the war send her on another path when she returns home?

This is a wonderful, well-written, well-researched novel about the unknown role of women in WWI. It's about love and family and friendship and how women's roles were changing during this time.

Buy Girls on the Line at Amazon

The Testament of Harold's Wife by Lynne Hugo

The Testament of Harold's Wife
Sept 2018; Kensington; 978-1496716682
audio, ebook, print (304 pages); women's fiction
This is my second Lynne Hugo book. The first one was Remember My Beauties (read my review). This fantastic book has a quirky grandmother as the main character who made me laugh and who I cheered for throughout the book.

Louisa is alone on the family farm in Indiana. Her beloved grandson had been killed by a drunk driver and then her husband committed suicide at the same place on the highway a year later. The driver who killed her grandson wasn't charged because he claimed that a deer caused him to swerve. Louisa decided that she needed revenge against the driver and with the help of her sister, she works to come up with the perfect plan. Louisa's closest companions are the chickens that live in her house - named after the sisters in Little Women - and the cat that she talks to all of the time. She loves her tea - with a splash of bourbon in it and is a fantastic character. You can feel the grief in her life but can't help but applaud her as she concocts her plan of revenge.

I loved this book because of Louisa. She was a fantastic character who was aware of her age and her situation. She was eccentric and tenacious - she'll make you laugh and make you cry but the whole time you'll be aware that she's a character you won't soon forget.

Buy The Testament of Harold's Wife at Amazon

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing
Aug 2018; G.P. Putnam's Sons; 978-0735219090
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); women's fiction
"I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could hold so much."

This is a beautifully written coming of age story set in the swamps at the NC coast. The author's writing about daily life in the swamps and the animals and birds that live there is exquisite to the point that the reader feels that they are there with the characters.

Kya and her family live in a small home in the marsh cut off from the town and civilization in general. When she was 6, her mom walked away and never came back. After her mom left, her older brothers and sisters drifted away and left just Kya and her dad at their home.  Several years later, her dad also left and never came back so she was left on her own. She only went to school one day in her life and was harassed so much that she never went back. A local boy, Tate, met her when they were fishing and taught her how to read. When he went away to college, she was alone again - yearning for connection with people but afraid to go out into society. This the story of Kya's life with all of the joy and sorrow involved.

This was a beautiful book and I highly recommend it. It's a debut novel by Delia Owens and I look forward to her future novels.

Buy Where the Crawdads Sing at Amazon

Dancing with the Sun by Kay Bratt

Dancing with the Sun
November 2018; Lake Union Publishing
audio, ebook, print (236 pages)
women's fiction
There are different kinds of isolation and it can either make or break a person. This is a beautifully written book about a mother's isolation from her family and the isolation that she and her daughter feel when they get lost at Yosemite. Will it make them stronger or break their spirits?

Sadie is ready to give up on her life. She has never recovered from the death of her son years earlier and has shut herself off emotionally from her husband and adopted daughter. She has given up her painting and basically her entire life. When she decides to make a surprise visit to her daughter, she has no idea that hiking in Yosemite National Park will be part of their plans. They are not prepared and when a short hike becomes a life-threatening crisis, they have to be strong and rely on each other to survive. As they search for food and water and safety from predators, they both have to dig deep into themselves for their inner strength if they have a chance of survival. As their chances of survival dwindle, will they find it in themselves to really love and forgive?

This is a beautiful and well-written novel with fantastic characters - flaws and all - that will have readers hoping for their survival and unable to put the book down. I loved it and I highly recommend it.

Buy Dancing with the Sun at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter.

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  1. Awesome list! I love strong female characters as well! Especially when their roles are well done, and not forced like in lots of YA books.