It’s International Women’s Day and I thought I would take the opportunity to create a list of some of my favourite books by women from the last year or two. I’ve tried to narrow it down as I could have been here all day if I included them all, so here are five of my faves by five amazing female writers!
- Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
This book is beautiful, powerful, cleverly crafted and has stuck in my mind ever since I read it. It’s still on my over-crowded bookshelf waiting to be re-read and it’s one of those books I always recommend.
It tells the stories of two women, one sold into slavery, one married to a slave trader and the way that these two events echo down the generations. It explains why Black history has to be told, it explains why what has happened in the past does still impact the present and it is beautifully written, engaging and full of twists and impact.
2. My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This was my first Elizabeth Strout novel and I ADORED it. What I love most, is the very unique voice that Strout gives to Lucy Barton and the amount of emotion in this book. It’s thoughtful, reflective, modern and compelling. And it led to me quickly buying more of her books and discovering that they are all equally wonderful, portraying each character so that it feels as though they could literally step off the page.
3. Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Of course, I had to include Elinar Oliphant. This powerhouse of a book has been all over social media and the book blogger world – and with good reason! This fantastic novel tells the story of Elinor Oliphant as she struggles to cope with the world and her past. This is one of those rare books that manages to be laugh out loud funny and completely heart-wrenching. I believed in Elinor completely and I recommended this book to anyone and everyone. It truly is fantastic!
4. The Other Mrs Walker by Mary Paulson-Ellis
This gritty crime novel is set in one of my favourite cities, Edinburgh and is a detective story, without a detective. The story mainly tells the story of two women, including the recently deceased Mrs Walker as the truth of her life and identity are slowly uncovered. At times terribly sad and sometimes gruesome, this is a raw, human novel that takes an unflinching look at loneliness, loss and the effect of family history on the present. At times it is surrealist and the next it is all too real. A wonderful, unputdownable book that isn’t to be read late at night!
5) Wild by Cheryl Strayed
There are so many wonderful memoirs out there and for the height in strong women, Wild by Cheryl Strayed shows a woman on the brink of complete emotional collapse, who decides to challenge herself further as a form of catharsis rather than fall under the weight of life’s challenges. This memoir is honest, raw, emotional and relatable. Strayed has a powerful authorial voice and looks into her own past with unflinching honesty and tells the extraordinary story of her walk along the west coast of America to overcome the loss and trauma in her past.
I would love to know your favourite novels written by female authors, so let me know in the comments below!