Happy Women in Fiction Day!

Since it’s Women in Fiction Day, I thought I’d take a post to discuss some of my favorite literary heroines.

The Classics

anne of green gablesAnne of Green Gables

I mean, who doesn’t love a girl with this much imagination and flare for the dramatic?

“Why must people kneel down to pray? If I really wanted to pray I’ll tell you what I’d do. I’d go out into a great big field all alone or in the deep, deep woods and I’d look up into the sky—up—up—up—into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness. And then I’d just feel a prayer.” ~Lucy Maud Montgomery,  Anne of Green Gables


She’s the ultimate warrior princess.

“And then her heart changed, or at least she understood it; and the winter passed, and the sun shone upon her.”  ~J. R. R.   Tolkien, The Return of the King

“[I fear a] cage … To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.” ~ J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

jo marchJo March

Yet another imaginative and slightly dramatic heroine.

“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle–something heroic, or wonderful–that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.”   ~Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

sara creweSara Crewe

The princess who is always a princess.

“Whatever comes,” she said, “cannot alter one thing. If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.”   ~Frances Hodgson Burnett, A Little Princess

nancy drew

Nancy Drew

Yet another female detective, who always drove the speed limit.

“I don’t promise to forget the mystery, but I know I’ll have a marvelous time.” ~Carolyn Keene, Nancy’s Mysterious Letter

The Contemporaries

dagny taggartDagny Taggart

Dagny Taggart is Dagny Taggart.  You know what I’m saying? Seriously, though, what a smart and powerful woman.

“You don’t have to see through the eyes of others, hold onto yours, stand on your own judgment, you know that what is, is–say it aloud, like the holiest of prayers, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.” ~Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

anna wulfAnna Wulf

Her vulnerability, the way she compartmentalizes, and just they way this heroine thinks resonate with me.

“Free women,” said Anna, wryly. She added, with an anger new to Molly, so that she earned another quick scrutinizing glance from her friend: “They still define us in terms of relationships with men, even the best of them.” ~Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook


rebecca bloomwoodRebecca Bloomwood

A heroine who gets into all kinds of trouble because of her bad spending habits. Relatable and funny.

“When I shop, the world gets better.” ~Sophie Kinsella, Confessions of a Shopaholic

The Ones You’ve Probably Never Even Heard Of


Claire Trevelyan

A heroine that’s something of a mix between Sara Crewe and Dagny Taggart.



I completely identify with Sparrow’s desire to be free (and also, her love of grape pop).



She learns about herself after she breaks up with her boyfriend.



She owns who she is, and also, she’s not afraid of making difficult choices.



A female assassin.  Need I say more?



Sarah just wants adventure before settling into the routine of college (and everything that comes after that), and she doesn’t seem to want a romance to be that adventure.  She relates to people in real ways: she experiences awkwardness, anger, and even jealousy.  Beyond that, she’s direct and has a sense of humor.  Seriously, what’s not to love?

Who’s on YOUR list?


11 thoughts on “Happy Women in Fiction Day!

  1. Ah, great list!!! I recently downloaded an audio version Anne of Green Gables from a free sight that has volunteer readers. There are several different people that read for this books recording and one of them is so painfully aweful at it that I have to skip the chapters where she is reading to keep from having a panic attack because of how badly her voice butchers the listening experience.

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  2. Pingback: Dear Ashley: An Unconventional Review of ‘Rising Shadows’ | Lydia Thomas, Author

  3. Reblogged this on Ashley Townsend and commented:
    Oh. My. Gosh. SARAH MADE THE LIST! Lydia wasn’t kidding; Sarah Matthews–MY relatable, time traveling, awkward teen with a penchant for getting herself into trouble–is actually on a list of her favorite fiction women. I can now die in peace! ….. But I can’t, because now I want to write and finish Sarah’s story!


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