You will sometimes love, sometimes dislike, and most certainly not soon forget these vain and amusing heroines from these 5 must-read novels.
1. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
“… follows the fortunes of its strong-minded and strong-willed anti-heroine Becky Sharp through the follies and hypocrisies of early nineteenth-century British society.”
2. The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses.
3. The Ice Palace Waltz by Barbara L. Baer
“The waning years of the Gilded Age and a failed stock market gamble crushes the dreams of the Greenbaums. Only vivacious, copper-haired Tillie can save her family from ruin by entering into a marriage of convenience. Two decades later, Tillie, resigned to a passionless marriage, encourages her daughter Margie to live the romance she was denied and take a chance on the dashing, hard-drinking newsman Tommy Grensky.”
4. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
“One of Barbara Pym’s richest and most amusing high comedies, Excellent Women has at its center Mildred Lathbury, a clergyman’s daughter and a mild-mannered spinster in 1950s England. She is one of those ‘excellent women,’ the smart, supportive, repressed women who men take for granted. As Mildred gets embroiled in the lives of her new neighbors—anthropologist Helena Napier and her handsome, dashing husband, Rocky, and Julian Malory, the vicar next door—the novel presents a series of snapshots of human life as actually, and pluckily, lived in a vanishing world of manners and repressed desires.”
5. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
“A misanthropic matriarch leaves her eccentric family in crisis when she mysteriously disappears…”
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