Six Inspirational Women In Fiction

This week, at The Broke and The Bookish, inspirational characters are the buzz.  Lately I am really inspired by regular people, and by mothers in particular.  My list concentrates heavily on motherhood and  flawed characters.  These ladies might not have gotten it all right, but I was inspired by their efforts, their change and them having the courage to make decisions and stick by them.
  • Marilla (Anne of Green Gables) – When Marilla decides to adopt a child with her brother Matthew, it is solely for the purpose of having an extra pair of hands around the house.  It  has nothing to do with giving her heart.  I loved the way Marilla allowed herself to grow and to love through her experiences with Anne.
  • Abby (Come Sunday) –  Abby confronts a grief and horror that no mother ever wants to experience.  Faced with advice, requests and judgement  from well meaning family and friends, Abby had the courage to grieve fully and in her own way and time.
  • Lucy (Disgrace) – After experiencing brutality of the worse kind on her property in the South African countryside, Lucy makes a choice that is almost incomprehensible, possibly motivated by guilt, and just plain unsettling.  However, she has the presence of mind to insist that she has the right to live as she chooses, and at the very least, she doesn’t let anyone take that choice from her.
  • Sethe (Beloved) –  Sometimes the choices made aren’t so awe-inspiring as is the strength by which they are carried out.  When we meet Sethe she is a broken woman, with hardly any joy left her, haunted by her past and her actions.  The love inspiring that action and the circumstances surrounding it, are amazing.
  • Dana (Kindred) – Transported back to the ante-bellum South to protect the runty and trouble prone white child who will become her ancestor, Dana has to navigate some treacherous waters to ensure her bloodline, and her own personal beliefs and integrity.
  • Emma Jean (Perfect Peace) – Emma Jean has always wanted a little girl, so when her seventh child is born male she raises him as a girl for seven years.  In doing this she wreaks absolute havoc.  It’s the craziest decision ever, and she is arguably crazy but there is something a little inspiring about a woman who has had such a hard life, and who wants so little, to reach out and create what she wants when it doesn’t exist.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Perfect Peace, by Daniel Black   Book Review

Who are some of the inspirational women that you have found in fiction?

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  1. I love your choice of women. I loved Dana from Kindred. She made me crazy sometimes but I thought she was such a great character. And Marilla is one of my all time favorite literary woman.

    1. I don’t envy Dana the decisions that she had to make. I loved the way Marilla grew as a character. It was easy for Matthew to love, so it was rewarding to see her bloom.

  2. I’d say, pick up about anything written by Connie May Fowler and you will find an inspiring woman. Her books make me want to jump up and do something big.

  3. I haven’t read any of the books you have listed – well, I did read Anne of Green Gables but not enough to remember. I love that they are all women though 🙂

  4. A wonderful post! I’ll always love Marilla, she’s truly a kindred spirit. Sethe is amazing and inspiring. Too many women have experiences similar to her own. I love that you chose some women who have made choices that are difficult for many of us to understand but it is their life to live and the strength and courage they display is inspiring. I definitely believe it isn’t for us to judge any woman whose shoes we haven’t walked in and even then I don’t think anyone’s life is for us to judge.

    Thank you Nicole!
    ~ Amy

  5. I tried to pick a Toni Morrison character…there are several that have impressed me with their ability to somehow cope amidst unbelievable and tragic conditions.