I was reading a post on one of my favourite blogs today – The Bookshelf of Emily J – and her topic was ideal women of literature. She included Austen of course, Elinor Dashwood, Elizabeth Bennet et al, George Eliot, Bronte and others and, while these are all wonderful characters who thrill because of the writers concerned, I have to say that some of my personal favourites are definitely outside the literary canon.
I have a penchant for thrillers and one woman who stands out among the many I’ve been introduced to is Lisbeth Salander from Steig Larsson’s trilogy. She is nothing like the refined, reserved and romantic characters of Austen and she is certainly not a heroine in the traditional sense of the word. She is a flawed and damaged woman; irascible, aggressive, violent, anti-social and wholly unique. Although she wouldn’t appeal to everyone, I found her compelling and was rooting for her all the way through the series, even when she was bordering psychotic. I never envisaged her as a romantic figure and the end resolution with the main male character, Blomquist, didn’t disappoint – no sugary happy ending for Lisbeth!
I would recommend the books without hesitation, but be prepared for some very unsettling story lines and a female character that challenges the very essence of ‘heroine’. She’s a bit like marmite I think, you will either love her or hate her but in my opinion she’s definitely worth getting to know.
If you’ve read the books, do you agree with me? Any other women in thrillers that you like?
Categories: Just Plain Blog