Tulika aka Obsessivemom fell in love with the written word a long long time ago. That came in pretty handy at her job as a journalist with leading Indian dailies – ToI and HT. When her twins came along she exchanged night shifts at the desk to those of a very different kind. She now enjoys juggling multiple roles as a freelance writer, editor, mom blogger, book blogger and a full-time, hands on mum. If she had one wish she’d ask for 50 hours in a day.At least.
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They’ve been my friends ever since I remember. Girls, women, fiery and vibrant, quiet and strong, sometimes idealistic, sometimes imperfect, always intriguing.
From Amelia Jane and Anne Shirley to Jo March and Scout Finch, Liesel, Scarlett, Elizabeth, Hermione, Daenerys,.. sigh! So many of them!
And all I get to pick is five, five women characters I love.
Hard as it is, here they are:
Minny Jackson for Sheer Spunk
From The Help by Kathryn Stockett
If you were an African-American maid in Jackson, Mississippi of the 60s, chances are you’d be grateful to cook and clean for your white masters while being allowed to remain invisible. If you also have an abusive husband and five children to support, you’ll probably end up completely crushed and beaten. But not Minny. She’s all of those and yet she refuses to let life get her down. Blessed, or should I say cursed, with an acerbic tongue that refuses to stay quiet, Minny soldiers on with her head held high. The one thing she won’t compromise on is her dignity and jobs be damned.
… I sure didnt’ like that movie (Gone With the Wind), the way they made slavery look like a big happy tea party. If I’d played Mammy, I’d of told Scarlett to stick those green draperies up her white little pooper. Make her own damn man-catching dress.
Mary Horton for her Courage to Defy Stereotypes
From Tim by Colleen McCullough
Can you imagine how much courage it would take for a 43-year-old spinster to marry a young man almost half her age, with the brain of a child? I loved this very unusual love-story. And I loved Mary Horton. She starts out being a stereotypical crusty old spinster with a neatly charted out life. Along comes Tim with his startling good looks and heart-warming innocence and upsets all her life-plans, forcing her to take a fresh look at life. And she does. She struggles of course, worrying about what ‘people will say’, but then she learns to put her happiness and his, before all else. Her journey to her new self – easy, relaxed, happy, uncaring of the world, is a delight to read.
“…. I defy anyone to explain what one person sees in another…. Whatever you think you are, Tim thinks you are something quite different and much more desirable. You said you didn’t know what on earth he saw in you, that whatever it was you couldnt’t see it yourself. Be grateful for that!”
That’s how she learns to accept Tim’s love for her.
Rehana for her Idealism
from Jinnah Often Came to our House by Kiran Doshi
Rehana is the only surviving child of a Kowaishi Muslim professor in pre-Independence India. Perhaps it is her upbringing (liberal) and the trials she faces in her childhood (her mother and siblings all pass away in the plague) that make her the woman she is. She’s traditional enough to endear herself to everyone in her husband’s home including Bari Phuppi, the matriarch of the family, yet free thinking enough to leave her husband when she finds her dignity at stake. She’s a woman of principles yet she doesn’t wear her idealism on her sleeve. She does what she has to do with quiet determination. I loved her because she taught me that revolution isn’t about fiery speeches, it is about sticking with your ideals to the very end. You can read the full review of the book at https://beataboutthebook.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/jinnah-often-came-to-our-house-bookreview/
Rehana’s heart skipped a beat. Somehow, she understood what Dhondav felt about India. There were moments when she too felt that something overwhelming bound her to it, something that brought a lump to her throat for no special reason every now and again, and made her feel that nothing and nobody mattered more than India.
Bridget Jones for her Imperfections
from Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding
Isn’t she just the very best? Bridget is a little bit of me and a little bit of you, she’s every woman in her 30s. She isn’t the prettiest girl around nor the most accomplished and yet there’s something adorable about her. Her struggles are only too real, her faux pas cringeworthy. She goes through life laughing at herself, getting her heart-broken, battling to cover her embarrassment, often failing miserably. She smokes and drinks and grapples weight loss yet never gives up trying and that’s what makes her special, that’s what makes her real and that’s why I love her.
“Alcohol units: 5. Drowning sorrows. Cigarettes: 23. Fumigating sorrows. Calories: 3,856. Smothering sorrows in fat duvet.”
A typically Bridget entry in her diary.
Katniss Evergreen for her Bravery
from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
If Bridget is every woman, Katniss is like no woman I’ve ever known. But then Panem is like no nation I could ever imagine. Katniss’ uniqueness lies in the fact that she is aware the odds are stacked heavily against her yet she chooses not to give up. She’s a fighter, she survives on her spirit alone and on hope. She’s essentially a lone wolf with just a handful of people she truly cares for. And yet she offers help readily, is loyal to a fault and forms bonds that last a lifetime, even beyond.
“My spirit. This is a new thought. I’m not sure exactly what it means, but it suggests I’m a fighter. In a sort of brave way. It’s not as if I’m never friendly. Okay, maybe I don’t go around loving everybody I meet, maybe my smiles are hard to come by, but I do care for some people.”
So there they are – five women fictional characters I love. Who would you put on your list?
Adding one more character to this list from a book review I did of Heidi
This is the post I did for her blog – For the love of reading