It is no secret that I adore Any Harmon's books. I read them for emotions, I read them for outstanding characters and I read them because they give me hope. Hope in good books and hope in humanity in general.
This International Women's Day I wanted to share some of my favorite female characters from Harmon's books, as I think that each and every one of them has qualities worthy of being a role model.
(from top to bottom)
1. From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon
“They can take our homes, our possessions. Our families. Our lives. They can drive us out, like they've driven us out before. They can humiliate us and dehumanize us. But they cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories, or our minds"
Eva Rosselli might be one of the strongest women I ever read about. Eva is a jew in a nazi
ridden Italy - every breath she takes is illegal, every word she says could have her end up in gestapo, or worse.
Through every challenge and every agonizing decision Eva's guiding force is love. Love for her family, love for her ancestry, love for the man that cannot love her back.
She never despairs nor she ever gives up - even when everything looked the bleakest, Eva was able to push through. I loved her character because of how bold and determined she was. Both at life and at love. Life kept throwing punches at her, but she kept fighting because she knew that giving up was never an option.
2. Making Faces by Amy Harmon
“It's hard to come to terms with the fact that you aren't going to be loved the way you want to be loved.”
Fern is an underdog - she knows she's not that pretty, and she accepts it because there's so such more to life than pretty faces and perfect bodies. I adored her character for two reasons: her unconditional love for her cousin and her brazenness when it came to her feelings.
Fern takes care of her cousin Bailey with gentle love and motherly affection. If ever there was the most selfless character - it's Fern. Bailey is paralyzed from neck down, but there isn't a place where Fern would go without him - they are best friends and their love will transcend through generations.
I also loved how forward Fern was with her love. She fell in love with Ambrose and that was that. Everybody knew how much she loved him, but she never shied away, never denied anything, even if she knew that he would never love her back. It was very refreshing to see a female character so sure of her feelings.
3. The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #1)
“I didn’t want to be taken care of. I wanted to run away from all the men who sought dominion over me, who thought they could own me, imprison me, use me, cut me.”
Amy Harmon is great at writing diverse, believable and strong women. The main heroine, Lark, is mute by a curse throughout most of the book. What she lacks in vocal ability she makes up for in courage, grace and stubbornness. I loved her character the most out of all of the books I've read by Harmon, and I've read a lot.
Lark reminds me a little bit of Jane Eyre in her looks, small like a bird, invisible from the first glance but radiant once you get to know her.
And just like Jane Eyre Lark found her passionate love, so did Lark, and she never bent to it, but took it on her own terms. The romance was absolutely beautiful. Lark was proud and strong-willed and king Tiras was even more so. Together they clashed and burned - and the result was dazzling. You can practically feel the love from the pages of this book. Love that is strong and gentle at the same time. A love that you know will last forever.
I also really enjoyed how the title of the books is a play on words that changes later as the plot unfolds - I thought it was so very clever.
4. Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon
“But sometimes in my reading I would discover new insights or have seemingly profound thoughts that would change my way of thinking.”
The main thing you need to know about Josie Jensen is that she is a true bookworm. And to a bookworm like myself, that is like sweet dripping honey. She is intelligent, but she also has the purest heart and the gentlest soul. Josie's life wasn't easy and this novel really develops her character from a little girl, who missed half of her childhood, into a selfless woman who is always and foremost ready to serve others.
I related to Josie on such a deep level that she immediately shot up to number 2 of my "all time favorite female characters list". Josie loves to garden - she loves to feel the soil below her toes and she loves too cook with all of her fresh vegetables - if that's not an image of me, I don't know what is. If Josie Jo was a real person she would have been my best friend.
5. The Song of David (The Law of Moses #2) by Amy Harmon
“The most intimate thing we can do is to allow the people we love most to see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.”
Millie is a stripper. Millie is a sister. Millie is brave and confident and blind. Once again the diversity shines in Harmon books. What I love the most is that the characters deficiencies never hinder their soul - what they lack they always make up for in tenfold with their character.
The book is not told from Millie's point of view, so we don't see that much of her, but what we do see is absolutely beautiful. We see the world from her point of view- we get to experience it - touch it, taste it, hear it. Even if her eyes are blind, everything else in Millie is alive and blooming.
I definitely recommend all of these books - each has something unique and beautiful to offer. Do yourself a favor - get to know Eva, Fern, Lark, Josie and Millie. You won't regret it.