I met each of these women in the pages of books.
They are fiesty and memorable individuals.
They did things I wished I had been brave enough to do and said things that I wanted to say.
If they were alive (and I think they might be), I'd be proud to have them as friends.
10. Nancy Drew - With her snappy little car and her lawyer father, she was brave and daring and intelligent. She solved cases and had no fear of creepy houses or terrible villains.
9. Muriel Pritchett- from Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist - A wacky scattered dog walker who talked a mile a minute, she was able to shake boring travel writer, Macon Leary, right out of his funk.
8. Laura Ingalls Wilder - Another childhood favorite, Laura was impulsive and tomboyish. She wasn't afraid to throw her enemy, that prissy Nellie Olson, on the ground and beat her up. I'd be happy to have her on my side.
7. Portia Quayne - from Elizabeth Bowen's Death of the Heart - She develops a serious crush on a friend of the family - a dashing young man named Eddie. Eddie unknowingly leads her on and breaks her heart. Certainly, Portia and I could exchange memories of heartbreak and first loves.
6. Anne Shirley - of Green Gables - With her carrot red hair, she was funny and poetic and got her best friend drunk on raspberry cordial. She was the kind of friend who could make even a walk in the woods seem magical.
5. Orual - from C.S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces - She is the oldest sister, an unlikely princess, who feels homely and unloved. She is both brave and amazingly self-absorbed. But, somehow, we fall in love with her in a way that surpasses the more perfect sisters.
4. Sophie - from Somerset Maugham's The Razor's Edge. She is a tragic character - perhaps my favorite type - who is the love of Larry Darrell. They have a deep bond - and rescue one another from the social climbing of their culture.
3. Elaine Risley - from Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. She is an artist, going back to New York City for a gallery exhibit of her work. She is a survivor of childhood angst and a creative soul searching for meaning.
2. Skeeter - from Kathryn Stockett's The Help - She is a journalist and doesn't always feel that she is attractive enough to capture the attention of the men her age. But her attitude and determination pay off and change the lives of those around her.
1. Ellen Olenska - from Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence - Much more compelling than the lily-white conventional May, Countess Ellen causes eyebrows to rise and creates scandal wherever she goes. She is colorful and exotic and sensual.
If you'd like to see more Top Ten Lists - stop by one of my favorite book blogs for their Top Ten Tuesdays: