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As we nearly reach the halfway point of Women’s History Month, I have some reading recommendations. They include stories of women’s strength in their own identity, family and aspirations. These women have different backgrounds to better demonstrate the various ways women develop.

women history


As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner: This story takes place during the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918 and follows a family of women. The mother and her three daughters all show such physical and emotional strength as they work together to keep their family together and healthy. Meissner shows depth in these characters and paints a vivid picture of Philadelphia during that time and the horror of the Spanish Flu plaguing it. The sisterly bonds show triumphant strength.

Circe by Madeline Miller: The mythological story of Circe blew me away. This story about sums up my knowledge on Greek gods, but it makes me want to learn more. The setting may differ drastically from any place we may experience, yet it still holds a relatable anchor to it. Boy does Circe have a well of strength. Isolated as punishment, she finds a way to make her days tolerable and even makes connections. Ultimately, she creates a meaningful life.

Becoming by Michelle Obama: I haven’t finished this one yet, but at the beginning it becomes clear the former First Lady of the United States has a high level of intelligence and a unique perspective. While I hope I never know what it feels like to live or work in the White House in any capacity, I have high hopes of what insight I can learn from her experiences in and outside the White House. Even as a child, Obama knows what she wants and stands on her values. She has achieved so much personally and professionally due to her strength.

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin: This book is on my upcoming shelf, and I have looked forward to reading this for awhile since I really enjoy the movie. The story follows Eilis as she ventures from Ireland to Brooklyn seeking a better life than what she and her family have. By herself, she finds a job and makes a new home as an immigrant. I love her quiet strength as she faces so many unknowns alone.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson: The timing for her new book that follows up this one works perfectly. In her groundbreaking book inspired by her own sexual assault story as a teen, Anderson gives an authentic look at the fear and turmoil stirred by such pain. It has shown uncountable women they have a voice and can use it. Using her voice, Melinda demonstrates her strength.


*Susan Meissner’s latest book The Last Year of the War releases next week. I have an ARC of it and eagerly look forward to diving into another Meissner novel.