Books to read about Women, by Women

It’s rare to find a book that fully captures the female psyche – especially when written by male authors. These four novels read by Rebel Femme are a true test to the woman’s spirit when it comes to prose and defining our gendered experience through literature. Carry your new year’s resolution to read more into the months beyond February with these Rebel Femme approved fiction and non fiction titles.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

  • Michelle Obama’s much anticipated autobiographical memoir is a portal into her past experiences prior, through the course of, and after her husband was the president of the United States. The reader gets an inside look at the awe inspiring woman who changed the definition of what it means to be a strong independent First Lady of the United States of America. Though the beginning is a slow entry into her family’s backstory, you’ll be happy you stuck to it because the narrative of her past weaves seamlessly into the causes she supports today, such as the “Reach Higher” Initiative – an effort to inspire young people across America to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school. Her voice is heard clear and true in this spectacular book, which is also on audiotape, which Michelle personally narrates, personally bringing her story to life.

    The Paris Wife by Paula Mclain

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    The Paris Wife is a fictionalised account of  the life and marriage of Hadley Richardson, the first of Ernest Hemingway’s four wives. The novel transports the reader to pre world war Paris, where awe inspiring artists and writers walk the streets. Hadley takes on the role of a supportive wife, completely aware of her lack of personal accomplishments and undying duty to supporting her husband’s passion no matter what. Her perspective is heartfelt and pure, which makes the reader simultaneously frustrated for her lack of independence and compassion for her strong will and dedication. Hadley gives the modern reader an entrance to life as a woman in the 1920s when times were shifting, highlighting changing fashion silhouettes and the recognition of female writers and artists.

    Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Eagan

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    Eagan’s fiction novel tells the story of Anna Kerrigan, beginning with an important memory of her childhood leading into her job at the Brooklyn Naval Yard as the first female diver helping America win the war. Anna searches for answers to the mystery of her missing father, uncovering secrets about the complexity of his life through thrilling prose. Eagan addresses what every woman goes through in realising their father’s hold secret lives that impact their children whether they like it or not but through a dramatic story full of historical accounts and feminist rhetoric. Jennifer Eagan is one of my favorite authors, and this novel did not let me down.

    Educated by Tara Westover

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    If you’re a fan of The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls you will certainly enjoy Westover’s nonfiction novel Educated in which she tells her story of escaping a childhood of radical Mormonism in Idaho to pursue higher education away from a life of fundamentalism. Her parents were paranoid survivalists, distrustful of government and mainstream medicine. This intense memoir shows the power of a woman to take the initiative to educate herself and leave a toxic environment to improve her life.  Difficult to read but impossible, Tara Westover wrote powerful memoir deeply imbedded in the subject of memory and her struggle in self-invention.

     

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