The Danish edition of The Power by Naomi Alderman on a wooden desk.

International Women’s Day

Today, on March 8, it is International Women’s Day. A day where we celebrate what women have achieved throughout the years and commemorate the movement for women’s rights. A lot of strong women (and men of course too) have worked hard to gain the rights we have today and men and women still struggle to achieve equal rights for all.

Therefore today is a very important day, because it also commemorates progress.

But what have today to do with books nd literature, you ask. And I can understand your wonderment. I have decided, that I want to share with you eight (since it is March 8) books featuring fierce females on this day as my own sort of celebration. The books are different genres and features different kinds of strong women. I sincerely hope to be able to recommend a read for everybody that comes by this post.

The Books

Firstly I’d like to make it clear that there are MANY books on this subject and it has been sort of hard to pick just eight. These eight books have been picked based on their voice, and I have only picked books that I have read or plan to read. Also, the books will be listed in no particular order!

Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi

This book features a young Marjane growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. It is a memoir in the form of a graphic novel and it is both uniquely beautiful and heartbreakingly honest. Marjane tells the story of this revolution from a child’s pespective, and creates a humorous tone to the very grave situation she finds herself in.

Dødevaskeren (The Corpse Cleaner) by Sara Omar

This is a rather new book published in Danish about a young girl and her family in Kurdistan. Frmesk, the young girl, is unwanted by her father simply because of her gender. This leads to a childhood where she constantly doubts her worth and place. Her well-read and sceptical grandparents become a light in her life. This heart-breaking story is Sara Omar’s debut novel and it is a seriously strong one of that. She has been under protection out of fear for her life after writing this novel, since it critiques a lot of the actions made based on religion.

The Cosmopolitan Islander by M. P. Tonnesen

This novel tells the story of a woman, who learns to find herself and her place in the 21st Century. We follow Chloe, a strong and independent Danish girl, who grows up in Denmark but moves to England to make a career for herself. She, however, suddenly finds herself moving to an island, where she is almost forced to be a stay-at-home-mum, because of the lack of possibilities for her on the island. This novel is a marvellous story of female identity and of life as this amazing thing that will take you places if only you let it.

A Wild and Unremarkable Thing by Jen Castleberry

In this fantasy novel we follow Cody/Cayda, who is a young girl living in a very poor part of her country together with her parents and sisters. Fifteen years ago their town was burned almost entirely to the ground by a Fire Scale dragon, which means that there are no longer any tourists to help develop their economy. Therefore, Cayda’s father has decided to train Cayda to be able to slay a Fire Scale, so she can win the grand prize and thus provide for her family. The only problem is, that only men can hope to claim this prize. Cayda has therefore lived as Cody since she was around five years old under the brutal will of her father. Everybody but her sisters seems to have forgotten that she was once a little girl. When the time comes, Cody travels to Yurka to slay the dragon, and on her way, she meets a man, who realises that Cody travels with a secret, but at the same time sees great potential in her.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This sci-fi novel, that comes out in Danish today, tells the story of how a simple, yet powerful, change in the female body can suddenly change the balance of power in the world. Slowly, women realise that they can give men shocks. This novel therefore describes a change, but also the reactions and the thoughts that follow such a new ability. It is thought-provoking, however funny and interesting, since it not only makes the reader think about the power balance, but also sparks thoughts about what we can permit ourselves to do.

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Pippi Longstocking was by far the most awesome girl I knew when I was a little girl. The day my father (accidently, I might add) told me that she was a product of Tommy and Annika’s imagination my heart broke a little. Pippi is not only physically superior to everybody else; she is smart, honest, funny and completely her own. She embarks on a vast variety of different adventures, some of which are fairly normal (like going to school), but she also goes on pirate adventures. You should definitely know about this girl. Even if the books about her are really written for children and are written many years ago.

New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson

In this dystopian novel do we follow Phoenix, who lives alone in a city that has almost fallen apart. Everyone lives in tribes and it is often either kill or be killed, when you meet someone else. On the other side of a wall is the Sanctuary; a place, for everyone, who can follow the rules. Break the rules and you are thrown out into Phoenix’s city. For six years has she managed to stay alive and under the radar, but suddenly she sees a little girl in trouble. A girl not older than she was, when she her parents were killed in front of her and she was left alone in this world. She decides to interfere and help the girl, which completely turns her world around as she is captured by a resistance movement, who plans to fight the Sanctuary. ‘Cause maybe it isn’t really a sanctuary.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

This thriller is really remarkable. It tells the story of a woman, Rachel, who is almost disintegrating due to her intake of a vast amount of alcohol. Her life is spiralling downward, but from her seat on the train she can follow a few minutes in a couple’s life every day, which brings her great pleasure. When one day she reads that the woman from that couple is missing, she decides to take action. At the same time she struggles with her ex-husband and his new wife, who lives just down the street from the couple she follows. Rachel is a broken woman, who slowly and unsteadily raises herself and finds her voice again. It is also a crime thriller, told through various points of views and spun together in a remarkable way.

 

Happy International Women’s Day

If you can recommend other books featurering awesome women feel free to drop a comment below and share it with the rest of us! I will appreciate it!

I hope you have a wonderful March 8!

The Kindle verison of Wildwood's cover in black and white

Wildwood

Author: Jadie Jones

Published: Parliament House, 2017

Series: The Hightower Trilogy

Wildwood

Tanzy is a young girl at around 18 years who lives with her mum, who prefers to stay indoors at home, and dad, who owns a horse farm named Wildwood, where he fully invests his time outside of the family. One day however, something terrible happens; Tanzy loses her father and is dragged in to a long period of sorrow where her mother retreats and leaves Tanzy to fight on her own. This is very tough to read about and Jones has written this exceptionally well! We feel the despair that Tanzy goes through and it is hard to see how she will ever pull through.

My Thoughts

Wildwood was an amazing page-turner and I was thoroughly consumed by Jones’ incredible story!

Tanzy is in many ways a very relatable character, I do however think, that she turns a little more than slightly annoying towards the end of the book. She misses vital and obvious clues that could help her on her way, and she sometimes act a lot younger than her age in that she reacts on pure emotion rather than rationally. This I felt was quite disturbing to my liking of her character. Despite this fact, I really loved the story! The ending left me a little deflated, since a lot of new things and characters were suddenly introduced, but I guess that is to be expected when there are more books in the series.

Jadie Jones has written a marvellous fantasy story that can appeal to a lot of different people. It is hard to know what will happen next, and Jones has created the feeling that the reader is just as lost as Tanzy is, when she is introduced to the bigger picture. It is hard to know who to believe. The story unfolds so deliberately that parts of it reminded me of how J.K. Rowling managed to weave in hints and plot twists in the Harry Potter series. Again, the only regrettable thing about this is how slow Tanzy is to pick up on these clues.
But I for one will be moving quickly on to the next in the series!

Should You Read It?

If you enjoy a good fantasy story that at the same time deals with universally human topics such as grief, this will probably be a good read for you. If you at the same time enjoy a book that leaves little hints to figure out the plot every now and then, then this book would be a good one for you to get your hands on. The story flows from page to page and I sincerely had a hard time putting it down, whenever I had to stop reading (you know, when life gets in the way and you have to go to work or eat dinner or sleep). More than once the book reminded me of the Harry Potter series – not in its use of magic at all, but in the way that Jadie Jones has built up her world and her story.

Thanks

I was kindly send this copy by the Parliament House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

If you have become interested in this book, you can read more about Wildwood on Goodreads by clicking here.