Nevertheless, She Persisted

By Kristi S. 

A wonderful thing about working in libraries is that you rarely run out of reading material. Occasionally, though, I have weeks where none of my holds arrive and I am left to scour the stacks. Like many patrons, I find the choices overwhelming. Recently, I realized when browsing that I gravitate towards stories of women persevering through difficult times. If you also like stories featuring strong female characters and an immersive setting, save yourself some browsing time and try these titles. Less time deciding means more time reading!

The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste

An action-packed, character driven novel that shines a light on the fierce women who fought against Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. The author was inspired by her great-grandmother, who fought against Italy despite her family’s objections. It’s a fascinating look at a little-known time in history, told with riveting detail and fully realized characters.

A People’s History of Heaven by Mathangi Subramanian

A group of women in Bangalore fight to save their homes from destruction in this powerful, high drama story told through lyrical prose, endearing characters, and vibrant imagery. I could not put this one down.

Hum if You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

This is a heart wrenching and captivating novel about the intersecting lives of a young white girl and a black woman in apartheid South Africa, told through alternating perspectives that diverge and weave together in poignant moments. I read this book a few years ago and still vividly remember the characters, which is the mark of a good story to me!


I’d love to hear from you! What do you gravitate towards when you are in the stacks? Any recommendations for stories featuring strong female leads? Let us know in the comments!

Nevertheless, She Persisted

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4 responses to “Nevertheless, She Persisted”

  1. Kate says:

    I highly recommend “Haben: The DeafBlind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law”. It’s a Biography book, but still really good!

    Fiction books with strong women leads that I was a fan of:

    “The Echo Killing” by Christi Daugherty
    “Dead Woman Walking” by S.J. Bolton

    That’s all I can think of right now. 🙂

  2. Gloria says:

    Thanks for these titles. Many I did not know and look forward to checking out. May I suggest “Away” by Amy Bloom, “Memoirs of an Ex- Prom Queen” by Ali Shulman, and finally, “Joys of Motherhood” by Buchi Emecheta These are a few that quickly come to mind.

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