Readers' Favorite

November 12, 2020

7 Novels with Older Female Protagonists

by Susan Roberts

The publishing industry seems to be very uncomfortable with aging women.  If there is an older woman in a novel, she is a secondary character, not the leading character.  Older women are often dismissed.  As a woman who is well over 50, I find it discouraging not to be able to find more books that represent my age group.  We still have problems in our lives -- instead of problems with husbands and parents, we have problems with husbands and children/grandchildren.  We get divorced....remarried no matter what the age.  We have careers and exciting lives. And even though we may have more wisdom than the younger characters, we still don't have all the answers!

Here are a few suggested books with a strong female protagonist. Can you suggest others to add to my list?
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

The Leisure Seeker by Michael Zadoorian

The Liesure Seeker

Yearning for one last adventure, the self-proclaimed "down-on-their-luck geezers" kidnap themselves from the adult children and doctors who seem to run their lives. Read my full review.

Buy The Leisure Seeker at Amazon

The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg 

The Red Address Book

Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny—her American grandniece, and her only relative—give her great joy and remind her of her own youth. Read my full review.

Buy The Red Address Book at Amazon

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt by Andrea Bobotis

The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

Interweaving the present with chilling flashbacks from one fateful evening in 1929, Judith pieces together the devastating influence of the Kratt family on their small South Carolina cotton town, learning that the effects of dark family secrets can last a lifetime and beyond. Read my full review.


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

A poignant, funny, outrageous, and wise novel about a lifetime friendship between four Southern women  Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood brilliantly explores the bonds of female friendship, the often-rocky relationship between mothers and daughters, and the healing power of humor and love.


This is Your Life, Harriet Chance by Jonathan Evison

This Your Life, Harriet Chance

With Bernard, her husband of fifty-five years, now in the grave, seventy-eight-year-old Harriet Chance impulsively sets sail alone on an Alaskan cruise that her late husband had planned. But what Harriet hoped would be a voyage leading to a new lease on life becomes a wildly surprising and revelatory journey into her past.  


A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

A Piece of the World

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Read my full review.

Buy A Piece of the World at Amazon

Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle


is a novel that tugs at the deepest places of the human soul—a beautiful, heart-piercing meditation on life and death and the marks we leave on this world. Read my full review.

Buy Hieroglyphics at Amazon
Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. Since her travel plans had to be canceled for this year, she is starting to make plans for travel in 2021. 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 historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads, or Twitter


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  1. Susan, thanks for spot lighting these books with older women. As an "older" woman myself I like reading books about people closer to my age or at least an age I easily remember. :) As a writer, all 8 of my romantic suspense books have heroines & heroes in their 40s and 50s. I like the depth of these characters and their stories.

    1. Thanks Marsha. Could you send a link to your books so that I can check them out. I'm always looking for new books and authors. (You can send to Thanks

  2. Another excellent example is The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks Steven. It looks great and I just ordered a copy.

  3. Many of my books feature women over 50.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thanks Stevie - I'll check them out.