Staff Picks: Memorable Female Characters
What do a grieving woman considering a second chance at love, a single mother learning to mother her estranged children and an unconventional woman living in a very conventional household have in common? Read on for some of the Bealeton branch staff members’ recommendations featuring strong, memorable characters:
After You – Jojo Moyes
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? Many of us remember Louisa from Me Before You, in which she falls in love with depressed quadriplegic Will Traynor. In “After You,” it’s been two years and Lou is struggling to move on with life after Will. Surviving a freak accident, she realizes that she needs help to kick-start her life and ends up in a church basement with the Moving On support group. Through those troubled people she stumbles upon Sam, the paramedic who helped save her life and she begins to take a chance at love again. Meanwhile, a shadowy figure from Will’s past surfaces, derailing her plans to rebuild her future.
Moyes is a gifted storyteller whose novels will touch you deeply with just the right amount of humor and drama. “After You” is one of her best, revisiting favorite characters, introducing new ones and creating yet another unforgettable story.
∼ Ann, Bealeton branch library
We Never Asked for Wings – Vanessa Diffenbaugh
From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Language of Flowers comes her much anticipated new novel about young love, hard choices and hope against all odds. I really enjoyed Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s first novel, “The Language of Flowers.” So when I saw her latest, “We Never Asked for Wings,” hit the new shelf in Bealeton, I grabbed it up. There are many difficult themes and struggles that plague the characters in this book and I think Diffenbaugh delivers them all beautifully. Letty Espinosa, a young, single mother, has defaulted to her mother to raise her children while she works three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet, help support the family stateside and the extended family back in Mexico. Lettty’s parents abruptly (and unannounced) move back to Mexico. Letty is now forced to learn how to be a mother to her children – son Alex is 15 and daughter Luna is six. Her children adore their grandparents and have never known their mother to be a “mother.” They all struggle learning to survive this new living arrangement thrust upon them. Through the challenges they face – parenting, love, undocumented immigrants, prejudices in society, consequences for actions – they all rise to the challenges set before them with the help of some very special people along the way.
∼ Alicia, Bealeton branch library
Girl Waits with Gun – Amy Stewart
Girl Waits with Gun. That’s what the headline read and that is the title of Amy Stewart’s novel. Stewart blends the facts of the historical case with her own storytelling skills and comes up with an engaging novel. The Kopp sisters defy tradition by living alone together on the family farm. One unfortunate trip to town results in a calamitous accident. Their buggy is smashed by a car driven by nefarious factory owner Henry Kaufman. When the oldest sister, Constance, has the gall to send him the invoice for the repairs, Kaufman responds with a campaign of threats. Allying herself with the local sheriff, Constance learns to shoot a pistol, barricades her house and waits on darkened street corners to meet a mysterious woman in black. By defying her conservative upbringing, Constance finally makes the most of her independence, solves the mystery of a missing baby and thwarts a criminal and his gang of thugs.
∼ Jennifer B., Bealeton branch library
Book lists, reviews from our book clubs and favorites from library staff are great resources when searching for your next book. You can find them all online, or stop by the reference desk at your local library.