Books and movies about male leads are very common. As we have grown up in a male dominant world, everything we read or see is just about them. Most of the time we girls can’t even relate to the novels we read.
Maybe it is because for a long time strength had a lot to play when it came to work, so women were confined to the household work while men did the heavy lifting, fighting, cutting wood, hunting animals, etc. But it is the 21st century now, and there is so much more we can do.
In my opinion, female-centric novels and their struggles don’t only provide relatability in novels for us girls, but also help to highlight critical social issues.
To grow as a society, we need to accept that we have social issues, talk more about them and only then we can address them.
Here is a small list of female-centric books which will not only entertain you but will also help you learn about women from around the world.
1 – Woman At Point Zero – by Nawal El-Saadawi
A short, three-chapter, book which provides a gripping ride for the reader. The book aims at highlighting how society attaches numerous limitations and hypocritical expectations to women.
The book is about the story of Firdaus who is convicted of murdering a pimp. Her startling tale sheds light on the double standards of the world, concerning sexes.
Her story raises an important aspect of woman survival in a society that suppresses the need for spreading awareness against harassment.
2 – Bastard of Istanbul – by Elif Shafak
Elif Shafak, author of the book “40 rules of Love”, once again outshines in this book. Bastard of Istanbul provides insights into the worlds of two young women, Asiya and Armanoush, from two different parts of the world. The thing that unites the two young ladies is Mustafa: Armanoush’s stepfather, and Asiya’s maternal uncle.
The book is beautiful in a way that it shows how strong women can be, regardless of what they go through in their lives. Zeliha (Asiya’s mother) arises as a pinnacle of strength and confidence throughout the story.
Trust me, the way various characters bond will have you immersed in the book.
AND YES!!! Description of the beautiful Istanbul, with Shafak’s flawless narrative, acts as the cherry on the cake.
3 – Americanah – by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The brave and sprawling novel by Adichie highlights what racism can do to the lives of its victims. The story is a mixture of hope, loss, love, failure, sorrow, and happiness.
A woman, Ifemelu, migrates to America in the hope of starting a new life while fleeing from the dreadful ongoing military coup in Nigeria. She leaves her love back in Nigeria and faces struggles and hardships while trying to settle down in a new place which she now calls home. Ifemelu and her lover, Obinze, spend years apart as the U.S tightens up their immigration system.
The book narrates the struggles these two characters have to endure, due to racism and their passion for helping their homeland.
4 – A Thousand Splendid Suns – by Khaled Husseini
Following The Kite Runner, Husseini comes up with yet another emotional and literary masterpiece.
Born generations apart, gilded together by war, loss and fate are the main characters of the book- Mariam and Lailah. Husseini, beautifully, narrates how these two women, competitors to each other, come together and develop a bond that is based on love, friendship, and mutual respect. Eventually, acting as each other’s ladder towards freedom and recovery from the ongoing war in Afghanistan.
The novel describes two types of wars: The one fought between people and nations, and the one fought with one’s own perspective. The story is a striking saga about the unfortunate lives of women in Afghanistan. It fills it reader with hope.
At least that is how I felt after reading the book.
Husseini’s strength of creating life-like characters, with an intense amount of depth and relatability, makes the novel immersing.
P.S. This novel is bound to make you cry, so keep a handkerchief nearby.
5 – The light between Oceans – by M.L Stedmand
A heart-wrenching story about parenthood, internal battles, and forgiveness.
When Tom and Isabel, a married couple, find a boat with a dead man and an infant, who is still alive, they face a grim choice. They can either keep the infant and finally experience parenthood, after 2 miscarriages and one stillbirth. Or they can report their findings to the police and hand in the infant to the relevant services department.
The book provides an exceptional read on how moral choices form and shape our lives, and how they fail to perform in desperate times. The story is an emotional rollercoaster with repeated loss and revival of hope.
If you think any other book should have made to the list, comment and let us know.