I am in love with Flavia. She’s the kind of heroine that would have enthralled me as a child. She’s smart, sassy, determined — all of those things that you want to be when you’re eleven. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie is one of those books that I picked up on a whim, and my life as a reader is better for it. Smartly written prose, a bright and charming protagonist, a good villain, plenty of ambiguous characters, and a carefully crafted world for them to exist in.
The next book on my list is The Girl Who Played with Fire. From Flavia de Luce to Lisbeth Salander. From the precocious and charming to the quiet and lethal. From one great heroine to another.
I think the first female protagonists to inspire such enthusiasm from me were Laura Ingalls Wilder and Nancy Drew. And then on to Lily Bart, Edna Pontellier, Janie Crawford, Scout Finch, Tess Durbeyfield, Hermione Granger, and Katniss Everdeen. And now I add Flavia de Luce and Lisbeth Salander to that list. Interesting female characters when combined with richly told stories make for a literary tradition that I can’t get enough of — I’m eager for more, in fact. More female characters whose stories captivate me, who I would like to have a cup of coffee with, who teach me something about myself.