I wrote a really angry woman in The McAvoy’ Sister Book of Secrets.
Delia wasn’t supposed to be that way. She’s a mom of a rebellious teenager and an infant daughter. Her mother has had a brain event and is growing increasingly unstable and her marriage, while not in dire trouble has gotten a little… silent. A little cool.
There were things she’d like to say, but didn’t feel like she should. Or could.
What would be the point of rocking the boat? Was the kind of thing Delia would think. What could she gain by being angry? Delia was always going to be a reflection of me, in a lot of ways.
But then I got angry. The last few years – millions of women have gotten angry. There’s been a tidal shift in the perception of nice and the perception of angry. And angry women are showing up in our fiction, our television shows and movies. And they are not the villains. They are complicated human heroines and I am here for it. Here are my top five angry heroines!
1. Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, portrayed by Elisabeth Moss
This year I became a Canadian but I didn’t have the Canadian High school experience of reading this novel in English class. I got to experience it on the small screen, brought to life by a cast of actors led by the simmering rage of Elisabeth Moss. Tour de Force doesn’t totally do her performance justice. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches. Indeed.
2. Jane from Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
Victoria has written an angry heroine before, but nothing and I mean nothing like Jane. She’s the embodiment of all our #metoo rage. Watching rapists get minimal sentencing and seats on the Supreme Court. Film, TV and music stars get second, third and fourth chances, leaving a trail of devastated and angry women in their wake. To say nothing of our President. Jane Doe is the revenge fantasy we all need.
3. Renata from Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, portrayed by Laura Dern
Do we like her? I don’t know. Does it matter? Because every time she’s on page (or Laura Dern is on the screen) I can’t look away. One of the best things about Big Little Lies is how human everyone is. They’re outrageous and over the top, yes. But they are also nuanced and flawed. And Moriarty pulls together an unputdownable story about all the facets of motherhood and womanhood with a thick delicious ribbon of anger through it all.
4. Jane from Jane Steele by Lyndsey Faye
Oh, if you have not picked up a Lyndsey Faye novel – here is your chance. Jane Steele is a reimagined telling of Jane Eyre, only Jane – our plucky orphan – is a serial killer. If you watched Dexter and thought it would be improved by a female lead and a Victorian England Setting – well, this one is for you. It’s dark, and atmospheric and laugh out loud funny in parts.
5. Delia from The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader
Being the mother of a teenager and an infant, would test any woman, Delia’s no exception. The cracks in her life are getting wider and deeper. Oh! And she’s perimenopausal – so when she does manage to sleep it’s in a small puddle of her own sweat. I also gave Delia an estranged sister and an ill and unpredictable mother. A husband she loves very much but the air between them has gotten chilly.
She’s juggling everything, in the way many of us wives, mothers, daughters, sisters juggle everything. Only beneath it all is a devastating secret and when her sister comes home to help with their mother – it all falls apart.
So, tell me, what are your favorite angry heroines?
About the Author:
Molly Fader is the author of The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets. Under the name Molly O’Keefe she is the award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author of sexy contemporary romance. She lives in Toronto Canada with her husband, two kids and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.
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What drove their family apart just might bring them back together…
It’s been seventeen years since the tragic summer the McAvoy sisters fell apart. Lindy, the wild one, left home, carved out a new life in the city and never looked back. Delia, the sister who stayed, became a mother herself, raising her daughters and running the family shop in their small Ohio hometown on the shores of Lake Erie. But now, with their mother’s ailing health and a rebellious teenager to rein in, Delia has no choice but to welcome Lindy home. As the two sisters try to put their family back in order, they finally have the chance to reclaim what’s been lost over the years: for Delia, professional dreams and a happy marriage, and for Lindy, a sense of home and an old flame—and best of all, each other. But when one turbulent night leads to a shocking revelation, the women must face the past they’ve avoided for a decade. And there’s nothing like an old secret to bring the McAvoy women back together and stronger than ever.