My Favorite Books Featuring Complicated Female Relationships by Hope Adams


[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Hope Adams to the site today. She’s sharing some of her favorite books that feature women supporting each other! Take it away, Hope.]

My novel Dangerous Women is about many things: leaving behind all that’s familiar and facing a scary future, suffering terrible conditions at sea, coming together to make something beautiful and also seeking justice. 

Mainly though, it’s about women. I love reading novels about women relating to one another in different ways. 

These books are huge favorites of mine and I hope you’ll enjoy them too!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I’m an only child and always longed to have sisters, so when I first read this book it became a kind of template for everything I thought was wonderful. Many women writers think of Jo March as their real heroine, and what Amy does (no spoilers!) has always struck me as deeply horrendous. 

The Group by Mary McCarthy

This book begins with a group of college friends meeting at the funeral of one of their number. We then share their lives as they’ve unfolded between their college days and this funeral. It’s a novel about friendship and the intricate threads of love and rivalry that bind women together. And it has a memorable scene where one of the women goes for contraceptive advice…this has stayed with me for more than 40 years.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This may be my favorite novel. The story of a small, plain girl who overcomes every kind of adversity to triumph in the end is full of marvels. A madwoman in the attic, an irresistible hero, a large house on the moors, and an unforgettable love story…this book has everything you could wish for in a novel, including a terrific last line.. 

They Were Sisters by Dorothy Whipple

Not enough people know about this marvelous writer published in the UK by P Persephone Books. She wrote novels in the 1930s, all of which are tremendous but I like this one because (again!) it is about sisters, and their often fraught relationships. It also has in it the most horrible abusive husband you’ll ever encountered. 

Emma by Jane Austen

It’s very hard to choose only one novel by the greatest of all novelists. Austen is wise and witty and altogether brilliant and the heroine of this story is absolutely captivating in spite of being interfering, and at times tactless to the point of cruelty. A whole community comes alive around her, and her happy ending is one of the most satisfying in literature.

About the Author:

Hope Adams was born in Jerusalem and spent her early childhood in many different countries, such as Nigeria and British North Borneo. She went to Roedean School in Brighton, and from there to St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Dangerous Women by Hope Adams, out now!

Nearly two hundred condemned women board a transport ship bound for Australia. One of them is a murderer. From debut author Hope Adams comes a thrilling novel based on the 1841 voyage of the convict ship Rajah, about confinement, hope, and the terrible things we do to survive.

London, 1841. One hundred eighty Englishwomen file aboard the Rajah, embarking on a three-month voyage to the other side of the world. 

They’re daughters, sisters, mothers—and convicts. 

Transported for petty crimes. 

Except one of them has a deadly secret, and will do anything to flee justice.

As the Rajah sails farther from land, the women forge a tenuous kinship. Until, in the middle of the cold and unforgiving sea, a young mother is mortally wounded, and the hunt is on for the assailant before he or she strikes again.

Each woman called in for question has something to fear: Will she be attacked next? Will she be believed? Because far from land, there is nowhere to flee, and how can you prove innocence when you’ve already been found guilty?

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. 

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