The following are the Top 10 Favorite Female Characters that made the biggest impression on my reading life. The list is in order of appearance in my life.
1) Eloise (Eloise series by Kay Thompson) — Eloise lived at the Plaza in Paris. How cool is that. She had free run and got into the most amazing adventures. That was my 8-10 year old take on this classic children’s book by Kay Thompson.
2) Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene) — Nancy introduced me to chapter books and my life-long love of mystery fiction. Another independent and smart young woman, Nancy also drove cool cars and dressed in the latest fashions.
3) Katherine Mary O’Fallon Flannigan aka Mrs. Mike (Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman) — In junior high school I read voraciously from the school library’s shelves. I knew I had hit pay dirt when I found a copy of Mrs. Mike. Kathy leaves her safe home in Boston and travels to the wilds of northern Canada for her health. The dry, pure air was supposed to improve her lung capacity. What she found was true love with a Mountie! Her life among the indigenous population and the trappers who made this wilderness home was fascinating to a Southern city girl.
4) The 2nd Mrs. DeWinter (Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier) — She is never given a first name in the novel, but I admired the pluck and determination of the young woman in Rebecca. I also loved how her character grew stronger throughout the novel.
5) Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte) — I loved this novel and the main character it is named after. Jane is a fascinating character who stood on principle even when it cost her the love of her life.
6) Rebecca of York (Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott) — No not the title character in Daphne du Maurier’s novel, but the young Jewish woman that must face down the Templar Knight in Ivanhoe. She may be overshadowed by the fair-haired Rowena, but I felt her character was the strongest in this classic novel.
7) Elizabeth Bennet (Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen) — Elizabeth introduced me to the wonders of Austen. I loved her wit. And she did get the dreamy Fitzwilliam Darcy too.
8) Anne Elliot (Persuasion by Jane Austen) — Anne is my favorite female character of all time. A bit of a late bloomer, she comes into her own in this novel. Plus she gets Captain Wentworth!
9) Jane Fairfax (Emma by Jane Austen) — She is not the title character, but Jane is much more interesting than Emma Woodhouse. She triumphs over a limited childhood and a negative bank balance.
10) Angel (Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers) — Angel escapes a life of prostitution only to return to it again and again. This story shows how powerful God’s love and redemption are.