by Michelle Douglas
What do you love in a heroine?
Which got me thinking - as a reader what do I love in a heroine? To find an answer, I went back to my favourite reads for the year.
Juliet from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society: Her voice compelled me to read on. She was witty and intelligent and had me laughing out loud. I actively wanted to know her better. Although she had plenty to feel depressed about, she never wallowed in self-pity. She maintained a sense of humour. She was proactive - she went looking for what needed.
Jane Eyre: Jane fights passionately for independence and the right to direct her own life. Adversity comes in the shape of villains and in the shape of her lover, but in the end Jane remains true to herself. That's what I love about her. (Oh and she's isn't beautiful. I loved that too)
Dr Erin Carmody from A Special Kind of Family by Marion Lennox: Okay at the very beginning of this book Erin, injured in a car accident, carries a heavy, ugly dog who is at death's door miles and miles to save it's life. I don't need to know anything else about Erin, because I now love her.
Annie from Christmas Angel For the Billionaire by Liz Fielding: Annie is in such an unusual and oppressive situation that when I discover she's not vanquished or diminished by it and that she can still act with grace, she gains my support. She's another proactive heroine who rescues herself rather than sitting around waiting for someone else to rescue her.
So what do all these heroines have in common? The trait that strikes me most forcefully is their courage - they all have that in spades. Secondly, they are all proactive. They don't sit around waiting for their lives and/or circumstances to change. Instead they set about changing their circumstances themselves. Although they are all very different in temperament they each had a quality I admired and it was different for each one: Juliet's humour, Jane's honesty, Erin's grit and Annie's determination.
Basically, they are all women I'd like to be friends with.