2015 was a year filled with amazing heroines doing everyday things like time travel, saving of a planet, and solving murders. Wait what? You don’t do those amazing things in your everyday life? Alright, I admit I don’t do do the amazing things of my favorite heroines this year but I more than enjoyed reading about their exploits. These lovely ladies are listed in perfectly random order.
Diana Bishop from the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Diana Bishop was a hoot to read and watch her develop over the three books currently published, A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and Book of Life. Diana goes from a reclusive, introspective academic to a champion of her family, her children, and all those with magic flowing through their veins. She discovers her witch powers, falls in love with a vampire, time travels to 16th Century Europe, meets long dead in-laws, a formidable mother-in-law, and learns the truth about her parents death when she was just a child.
Diana Bishop is the type of woman we all aspire to be in some respect. Her never ending loyalty to her family, her determination to do the right thing by her children despite vocal and vehement opposition, and her fierce pride in those she loves. Diana is someone you’d be more than happy to sit down in a pub and have a drink and wile away a couple of hours in fascinating conversation.
Kyria from Imperial Light by Mary Corran
Imperial Light was a delightful read by a new to me author that I only discovered from Net Galley. Nothing is better than falling in love with a character you weren’t expecting and didn’t expect to be so remarkable. Kyria suffers early in the book, almost dying at the hands of religious fanatics but her brains and determination to survive help her escape and survive the ordeal. That ordeal shapes the remainder of Kyria’s life throughout the book. She grows subtly through the book from a woman terrified of her own shadow to a strong leader, fearless and relentless in righting old wrongs.
Mary Corran first had the book published in 1993 and is a long lost author that deserves far more recognition than she has. Her ability to craft a beautiful and believable world is second to none. Her characters jump off the page and into your heart. Her complex plot lines and intricate world create a relevant and beautiful universe.
Minnie Hamilton by Laurie Cass
Another new author but discovered this time through an old fashioned used book sale that happens every February here in Phoenix. Minnie Hamilton is the librarian that exploded off the page and into my heart before the end of the second page. She reminded me of the librarians of my childhood, the ones who thought there was nothing more engaging than a good book and let me start checking out books at a very early age. Minnie solves the murder discovered by her inquisitive cat Eddie. But along the way, she fights for the bookmobile that is not supported by the library head she works for but she knows, that bookmobile is the only way people in their rural Michigan county have access to books on a regular basis.
Finishing the series is on my list of reading goals for 2016. Minnie makes me smile, which is all I ever ask from a good book.
Ivy Meadows by Cindy Brown
Another great author discovery thanks to Net Galley and an incredibly memorable character. Ivy isn’t memorable so much for solving mysteries for me but rather because she joyously hangs out with the elderly members of her acting troupe. The elderly are so often forgotten members of not just society but novels but for Ivy Meadows they are not only alive but vibrant members of the community. They have loves and heartbreaks, gossip like teenagers, and can be as devious as a scheming thirty-year-old climbing up the corporate ladder. Ivy blends right in and yet retains her youth and vibrancy throughout the novel. Ivy is funny and charming from the first page to the last.
If you are growing old, and lets face it we all grow older every day, have elderly parents, or just want a fun, light hearted good read then pick up the Ivy Meadows books
So there you have it, my top four heroines for the year. All characters I would eagerly reread and recommend.