9 Well-Written Novels That Put Women Front & Center

Whether you're a woman looking for a relatable character or a reader of any gender who's tired of seeing so many stories that are only focused on men, a book with a well-written female protagonist can be a breath of fresh air. The nine novels listed here put women front and center, and would make a great addition to any bookshelf. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

9 Well-Written Novels That Put Women Front & Center

Title Author
1. Mrs. Caitlin Macy
2. The F Word Liza Palmer
3. Where We Fall Rochelle B. Weinstein
4. True Places Sonja Yoerg
5. Forty Rooms Olga Grushin
6. Lemon Girl Jyoti Arora
7. The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom Beth Miller
8. The Wildflowers Harriet Evans
9. Close Enough to Touch Colleen Oakley

10 Real Women Who Changed History

  1. Claudette Colvin: Teenage civil rights activist
  2. Jane Addams: Nobel Peace Prize winner & suffragette
  3. Rosalind Franklin: Made ground-breaking discoveries about DNA
  4. Sojourner Truth: Abolitionist and women's rights activist
  5. Indira Gandhi: First female prime minister of India
  6. Margaret Sanger: Fought for women's right to birth control
  7. Marsha P. Johnson: Trans woman and LGBT rights activist
  8. Junko Tabei: First woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest
  9. Hedy Lamarr: Actress, inventor, and mathematician
  10. Betty Friedan: Social activist and author of The Feminine Mystique

Great Films Written & Directed by Women

The Importance of Women's Rights

In Depth

The future is female, and everyone knows it. So why should readers still get stuck with male-centric novels when they can sample a whole new world of rich, well-drawn female characters and perspectives? There are many incredible books out there featuring strong heroines, whip-smart girl bosses, and women who are determined to blaze their own path no matter what. Whether you're in the mood for inspiration, contemplation, or simply want to sink your teeth into a juicy new read, here, in no particular order, are some fantastic novels that place complex female characters at the helm.

In the #1 spot is "Mrs." by Caitlin Macy. Philippa Lye is the Queen of the Upper East Side, despite her less-than-perfect past. Content in her marriage and not worried by the gossip, Lye rules her kingdom with an iron fist. That is, until two women turn up at her door and threaten to destroy everything she's worked for. The first is Gwen, an old friend with a career-ending secret under her hat. The second is a recent addition to the Manhattan social set with a complicated past of her own. With Philippa's past and present about to collide and ruin everything, she'll stop at nothing to nip the rumors in the bud, even if it means taking drastic measures.

At #2 we get "The F Word" by Liza Palmer. P.R. genius Olivia has an amazing life. That's not to say that there aren't a few cracks here and there. Her absent husband and air-headed friends suit her just fine, and she's not about to complain, not when her client list represents the hottest of the Hollywood elite. When an old high school friend shows up online, however, Olivia finds herself scrambling to keep her pristine reputation intact.

P.R. genius Olivia has an amazing life.

For #3, we find Rochelle B. Weinstein's "Where We Fall." Abby Holden is a woman who has everything she wants. She's the mother of a wonderful daughter and wife to a loving husband. It should be good enough, but Abby can't shake off the depression that's taken hold of her in recent years. Could it have something to do with the crucial act of betrayal that paved the way for her perfect life way back in the day?

At #4 is Sonja Yoerg's "True Places." Suzanne's quiet suburban life is changed forever when she meets Iris, a young, scared girl who seems to have come from nowhere and knows nothing about the rules of society. With Suzanne's clueless husband and troubled children making things complicated and difficult, how long will it take for the prim and proper mother of two to become seduced by the mysterious, rule-breaking young woman in her presence?

At #5 is "Forty Rooms" by Olga Grushin. In this ambitious work, readers follow a woman known only as Mrs. Caldwell from birth to death, as she moves through each new "room" of her life. She starts as a child in the family home, moves into a new place to start a family of her own, and finds herself uprooted yet again at the end of a long journey. When Mrs. Caldwell encounters a figure from the past, she's given a second chance to take the road less traveled.

She starts as a child in the family home, moves into a new place to start a family of her own, and finds herself uprooted yet again at the end of a long journey.

Coming in at #6 is Jyoti Arora's "Lemon Girl." In Nirvi's world, everyone is governed by original sin. The young girl tries to live her life to the fullest in a society that blames victims and lets criminals go free, but she can never get too far from her perceived crimes. That is, not until she meets Arsh, a young man who sees her for who she truly is, not for the label society has placed on her. But love isn't enough to save someone like Nirvi.

If the young woman can find a way to duck the expectations of her judgmental neighbors, perhaps she can escape becoming a shell of her former self.

At #7 is Beth Miller's "The Two Hearts of Eliza Bloom." Eliza grew up thinking she knew the rules. For a while, life was as simple as knowing what skirt to wear or what meal to order at dinner. But when an adult Eliza finds herself unable to answer her teenage daughter's questions after discovering a shoebox full of artifacts, she has to think twice about her orderly ways. How can Eliza tell the truth about her past if she can't deal with a little bit of mess?

Eliza grew up thinking she knew the rules.

For #8 we find "The Wildflowers" by Harriet Evans. The Wildes were a legendary acting couple. They lived large both on the stage and off, maintaining extramarital affairs and creating the ideal childhood for their two "Wildflower" children, Cordelia and Ben. But when a mysterious, damaged young girl shows up one summer, everything changes and Cordelia bears witness to the near-dissolution of her own family.

As the tale of the Wilde family unfolds, readers are let in on the kinds of secrets, lies, and scandals that can either tear a family apart or bring them closer together than ever.

Finally, at #9, is Colleen Oakley's "Close Enough to Touch." Librarian Jubilee lives her life in forced isolation. Burdened with a rare disease that makes her allergic to skin-on-skin contact, she doesn't have too many choices when it comes to getting close to other people. That's all about to change. After ten years of self-protection, Jubilee ventures out into the world determined to make true contact. But meeting the troubled Eric Keegan could prove more dangerous than she ever imagined.