At the end of the year, there always seems to be a litany of “best of” or “top 10” lists. To add to that conversation is my list of the “top three books published in 2012 by women authors and that feature strong women lead characters.” (Very GOTG apropos, right?)
Each of these female characters, while ranging in age and background, bucked the circumstances life gave her and forged her own path. Two of these books are fiction and one is non-fiction. All of them I devoured reading and when finished, the characters stayed with me as I continued to think about who they were and how I felt about the choices they made.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
What a fast-paced, well-written and plot-twisted book this is.
This is the story of a young couple who, after losing their jobs in New York City, move to rural Missouri to be closer to the husband’s family. After that, it becomes a murder mystery thriller as you try to figure out, in real time with the husband, what happened to his missing wife.
What kept the book moving for me was the style of writing—the husband takes one chapter; the wife takes the other. While not giving away the ending, I can tell you it’s extremely satisfying and both characters get exactly what they deserve.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed (2012)
I picked this one up at an airport because I had heard that this was the book that brought Oprah out of her book club moratorium.
“Wow,” I thought, “what kind of book could that be?” I was not disappointed. This is a first-person, non-fiction account of a woman named Cheryl Strayed who becomes unmoored after her mother’s death and questions her life’s path and purpose.
She decides to reconnect to herself by hiking alone along the Pacific Crest Trail, a more than 2,000-mile trail from the deserts of southern California to the mountain ranges of Washington State. It ended up being a very inspiring account, and I was rooting for her the whole way.
Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman (2012)
This is the story told from the perspective of a six-year-old girl living with her mother and her mother’s rotating cast of boyfriends in a Reno trailer park.
This is a girl who longs for education, friendship and love and it’s essentially an inner monologue of daily occurrences as she talks about her life at school, the other residents at the trailer park, her memories of her grandmother and her mom’s job at the local bar. At times this story was heartbreaking to read; there are chapters that are just blacked-out blocks of text as you the reader are left to contemplate what is happening. It’s about a girl who has to grow up too fast but eventually finds redemption and strength.
Now you tell us – what was your favorite book of 2012?