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11 Must-Read Books Written By Inspiring Female Voices

Whether you prefer fiction to get lost in or more informative non-fiction reads, here is a selection of titles worth adding to your list this spring. From fresh names in fiction to the long-term established authors we know and love, these are the most inspiring female voices in literature right now.

Your Driver Is Waiting

Damani cares for her mother, drives ride shares to pay the bills and is angry at a world that promised her more before spitting her out. Yet mostly, she is tired. The city is alive with protests, fighting for people like her, but Damani can barely afford to pay attention.

Then she meets Jolene, and life seems to begin again. Jolene seems like the perfect partner, and their chemistry is undeniable. However, as their romance intensifies, Jolene does something unforgivable, setting off an explosive chain of events. Full of heart, humour and rage, Your Driver Is Waiting is a powerful social satire from a fearless new voice.

Violeta
Violeta entered the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first daughter in a family of five boisterous sons. From the start, her life was marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth.

Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination, and sense of humour will carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende brings us an inspiring and emotional epic.

The Silence Project

On Emilia Morris’s thirteenth birthday, her mother, Rachel, moves into a tent at the bottom of their garden. From that day on, she never says another word. Inspired by her vow of silence, other women join her and build the Community together. Eight years later, Rachel and thousands of her followers worldwide burned themselves to death.

Emilia decides to later publish her account of her mother’s life in a memoir called The Silence Project, revealing just how troubled the Community has become. In the process, she steps out of Rachel’s shadow once and for all so that her own voice may finally be heard.

The Soul Of A Woman

As a child, Isabel Allende watched her mother, abandoned by her husband, provide for her three small children. Then, as a young woman coming of age in the late 1960s, she rode the first wave of feminism. She has seen what has been accomplished by the movement in her lifetime.

So what do women want? To be safe, to be valued, to live in peace, to have their resources, to be connected, to have control over their bodies and lives, and to be loved. On all these fronts, there is much work to be done, and this book, Allende hopes, will ‘light the torch of our daughters and granddaughters with mine. They will have to live for us, as we lived for our mothers, and carry on with the work left to be finished.’

To My Sisters

This modern guide to sisterhood comes from the hosts of the most-loved podcast To My Sisters. After all, everyone needs someone to love, support and cherish them unconditionally. That doesn’t always take the form of a partner or parent either. What if the relationship you craved was a sister?

Renee Kapuku and Courtney Daniella Boateng have one goal – to see women win. With their friendship spanning a decade, their mission to reinvigorate sisterhood and redefine womanhood has turned into a global community of women helping each other to reclaim their power.

Memphis

Joan was only a child the last time she visited Memphis. She doesn’t remember the bustle of Beale Street on a summer’s night, and she doesn’t know she’s as likely to hear a gunshot as the sound of children playing. But when the front door opens, she does remember Derek. This house full of history is home to the women of the North family and they are no strangers to adversity; resilience runs in their blood.

Following the story of three generations of women from a family in Memphis, Stringfellow’s evocative debut brings us an intimate history of black womanhood. This book is perfect for fans of The Vanishing Half and An American Marriage.

Furies: Stories of the wicked, wild and untamed

For as long as we have known, worldwide, some words have defined and decried us. Including an outstanding selection of literary talent, including Margaret Atwood, Kamila Shamsie and Ali Smith, Furies reclaims traditional terms of misogynist abuse and transforms them into a collection of intensely powerful stories for our time.

Mother Tongue

When we look to the past, we often expect to be disappointed. In the history of language, we anticipate finding misogyny around each corner; however, the history of women’s words, as it turns out, is full of surprises. As women have made slow progress towards equality, we’ve paradoxically lost some of our vocabulary’s most expressive and eloquent parts. Here, Jenni Nuttall shines a light on them to see if we can use them again today.

Mother Tongue is a rich and entertaining history of women’s words – of the language we have, and haven’t, had to share in our lives. Inspired by Nuttall’s deep knowledge of the English language and conversations with her teenage daughter, this book is for anyone who loves language – and for feminists who want to look to the past to move forward.

A Woman Of No Importance

In 1942, the Gestapo would stop at nothing to track down a mysterious ‘limping lady’ fighting for France’s freedom. Finally, the Nazi chiefs issued an urgent command to find and destroy this dangerous ally.

The Gestapo’s target was Virginia Hall, a glamorous American with a wooden leg who triumphed despite gender and disability barriers to be the first woman to infiltrate Vichy France for the SOE. In doing so, she helped turn the course of the intelligence war.

Based on new research, Sonia Purnell has uncovered the whole secret life of Virginia Hall, an astoundingly important female spy in the Second World War, the Gestapo’s most urgent target and a vital force in the French Resistance. This is a powerful, gripping story about exceptional courage in the face of tyranny.

Pineapple Street

This debut follows the path of three women within one prominent Brooklyn family. Darley, the eldest daughter in the well-connected Stockton family, has never had to worry about money. Instead, Darley followed her heart, trading her job and inheritance for motherhood. Sasha, Darley’s new sister-in-law, comes from humble origins, and her hesitancy about signing a prenup concerns the others about her intentions. And Georgiana, the youngest, has fallen in love with someone she can’t have and must confront who she wants to be.

Rife with the indulgent pleasures of life among New York’s one-percenters – glittering parties and weekend homes – Pineapple Street is a beautifully observed exploration of class, money and different kinds of dreams from an exciting new voice in fiction.

I Remain In Darkness

A powerful meditation on ageing and familial love, I Remain in Darkness recounts Annie Ernaux’s attempts to help her mother recover from Alzheimer’s disease and then, when that proves futile, to bear witness to the older woman’s gradual decline and her own experience as a daughter losing a beloved parent. Haunting and devastatingly poignant, I Remain in Darkness showcases Ernaux’s unique talent for evoking life’s darkest and most bewildering episodes.

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