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Team Bookends’ talk strong women in fiction

Tomorrow sees the launch of #ReadtheGirl – the online campaign calling on fans to re-read the Millennium trilogy. In honour of one of the toughest women in fiction, Lisbeth Salander, Team Bookends have nominated their favourite  resilient characters.

Bethan – Lisbeth Salander from THE MILLENNIUM SERIES by Steig Laarson

‘After I read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, I couldn’t stop thinking about Lisbeth – I’d never wanted to know more about a fictional character as much. She’s strong and resourceful and, despite all that occurs, she’s not a victim. Lisbeth is the master of her own destiny.’

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist return in a continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series; THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’ S WEB, written by acclaimed author and journalist, David Lagercrantz, is published 27th August.

Vicky – Mavellous Ways  from A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS by Sarah Winman

‘Sometimes you meet a character who never really leaves you. The leading lady in my life this summer isn’t young, she’s not what you would describe as ‘cool’ and she doesn’t make her presence known by raising her voice. But Marvellous Ways, a woman in her ninetieth year of life who wears a yellow oilskin coat, thick glasses and lives in a gypsy caravan by a creek has crept into my soul and has become part of my life. Her tales of life, loss and everything in between pulled me in word by word and not one of those words has left me since. Little old Marvellous Ways has shown me that love – in all its forms – is a truly marvellous thing, and that age will always be but a number.’

A YEAR OF MARVELLOUS WAYS, new from Sarah Winman, author of the 600,000-copy bestseller WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT, is out on 18th June.  

Fleur – Hermione Granger  from THE HARRY POTTER SERIES by J.K. Rowling

‘As a huge nerd more accustomed to hanging out with books than people, Hermione Granger was a huge favourite of mine as a teenager. Aside from being super smart, she gets things done. She contravenes the laws of space and time to get to class. She’s forever saving Ron and Harry’s asses (often with more than just a hint of sass). And she has a really cool cat.’

Abbie – Celie Johnson  from THE COLOUR PURPLE by Alice Walker  

‘I read THE COLOUR PURPLE for the first time when I was relatively young and even then, I knew that she was capable of a psychological strength that most of us can barely fathom. Rather than crumbling under  the burdens that life has dealt her, including horrendous physical abuse at the hands of her father, Celie turns to the few people in the world that she can trust. From them, she learns the tools to verbalise, and later act on her growing independence, until finally, she is able to rebel against the husband who has enslaved her.’

Lucy – Jane Eyre from JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë

‘It has to be Jane — from her loveless childhood to her discovery that Rochester is already married, her principles never waver. She refuses to give away her independence, seeking only those who are her intellectual and emotional equals. I read JANE EYRE  at school and university and, writing this now, reminds me that I must dig out my copy to read again very soon!’



For more inspiration check out Stylist’s list of Literature’s Feistiest Females.