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Four Women-Centered Books to Start Off Your New Year

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Whether you’re a die-hard reader or have simply made a resolution to read more books this year, I have compiled a list of four books, about women and written by women, to start off the new year feeling strong, empowered, independent, and unapologetically unique. 

1. The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

If you are looking for a historical novel that is simultaneously adventurous, powerful and heartwarming, then this is a great choice. Kate Quinn fascinatingly tells two parallel stories about two very different lives: a former female spy in World War I and a pregnant college student searching for her cousin who went missing in World War II. Their paths cross and both women come to depend on each other as they embark on their journeys, each searching for something she has been longing to find. One seeks closure from a dear loved one, while the other seeks an enemy to deliver revenge. With the discovery that the characters are based on the lives of real women spies in these world wars, you will be in awe of the power of women in a time when they were marginalized and considered helpless. This story will leave you feeling inspired to be brave and courageous this year. 

2. The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Alka Joshi vividly describes the life of a young woman, Lakshmi, in 1950s India who finds the courage to leave her abusive husband and embark on a journey to independence while struggling to find her place in society. Lakshmi is able to change the course of her life due to highly acclaimed work as a henna artist. The story portrays her life in the homes of the women in the highest caste where she is treated as an equal, as well as her struggle between herself and her hard earned money from her husband, who is searching for her. Lakshimi displays incredible power and strength in this story despite things often being out of her control working against her. Joshi’s novel is filled with various aspects of Indian culture and tradition. It is a relatable yet inspirational story that will empower you to start the journey to independence and find your inner strength.

3. Untamed by Glennon Doyle

While this memoir may seem like it appeals only to older women who have gone through many stages of life, it’s also a great book for young women entering the adult world. Glennon Doyle shares powerful life lessons and inspiring words for women of all ages. The majority of the book is centered around a metaphor of a tiger at the zoo, bred in captivity and trained heavily to ensure it is tamed. She then connects the metaphor to moments from her life when she obeyed her own “trainers” in order to remain “tamed” within society and its standards. Yet when she reaches a major turning point in her life, she is faced with the thought of breaking out of captivity and entering the wild, untamed and free. Doyle metaphorically describes her major life events while also providing life advice that will touch your heart deeper than you may expect and inspire you to discover your identity and accept your true self. It will motivate you to become unapologetically yourself and to make peace with your body and trust its intuitions. Be prepared to bookmark almost every page!

4. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

If you’re looking for a book that’s easy to get into and incredibly entertaining to read, then Kristin Hannah’s novel about the joys and challenges of a long lasting friendship is the one to grab off the shelf. The story of Kate and Tully begins in middle school and is told over three decades, encompassing all of the challenges that come along with major life stages and events. While their friendship is strong and resilient, their differing upbringings, goals, and dreams for their futures create tension and threaten their relationship. Hannah’s coming-of-age novel will transport you through time as you follow the journey of Kate and Tully and the evolution, destruction and restoration of a friendship. It’s a book about trust, love, and the challenges of change. It’s a story that will stay with you, remind you of the value of friendship and encourage you to hug your best friend.

**Edited by Gwen Bunnewith

Alexa (Lexi) Lepold is currently a sophomore at the University of Vermont studying Public Communication with a concentration in Community Media and Journalism and a minor in Community and International Development. Her passion for writing tends to intertwine with her other interests in various forms of art and design as well as health and wellness. Lexi is also a member of Pi Beta Phi at UVM and is excited to be able to use Her Campus as an oppurtunity to write and share her work with the collegiate community.
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