It’s National Girlfriends Day! Gather your gal pals close and read up on some of the most iconic female friendships in literature.
1. Elizabeth Bennett and Charlotte Lucas- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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Forget Mr. Darcy; we’d argue Elizabeth and Charlotte have the prevailing relationship of Austen’s masterpiece “Pride and Prejudice.” Despite their differing circumstances and very different choices of husband, Lizzie and Charlotte’s friendship withstands hell and high water throughout the novel and they remain friends until the end.
2. Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridge- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants’ by Ann Brashares
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This iconic squad, brought to life by Blake Lively, America Ferrera et al in the 2005 movie, are still the queens of lasting female friendships. Having discovered a pair of pants that magically fits all of them perfectly, the girls grow and become individuals while still maintaining their precious childhood friendships. The books were originally a trilogy, but a fourth was released in 2011, revisiting the girls as they are about to turn 30.
3. Anne Shirley and Diana Barry- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
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When Anne arrives in the town of Avonlea, she quickly makes friends with local girl Diana Barry, whose family owns Barry’s Pond, or, as Anne calls it, ‘The Lake of Shining Waters.’ Anne and Diana are ‘kindred spirits’ and ‘bosom friends,’ and get up to all sorts of mischief together, including the time when Anne accidentally gets Dianna drunk.
4. Sandy, Rose, Monica, Eunice, Jenny and Mary- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie: A Novel by Muriel Spark
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Sandy, Rose, Monica, Eunice, Jenny, and Mary, aka “the Brodie set,” favorite students of Miss Jean Brodie’s, are at the heart of Muriel Spark’s hilarious and heart breaking novel. Miss Brodie refers to Sandy and Rose as the ‘creme de la creme,’ and has high hopes for them, while Mary is the scapegoat throughout the novel, bearing the blame for anything and everything that goes wrong. While the three are not necessarily very good friends to each other, they go through key coming of age experiences side by side, with hilarious and timelessly relatable outcomes.
5. Sarah and Becky- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
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When Sarah’s is demoted from student to servant at her boarding school following her father’s death while at war, she befriends the maid, Becky. Becky is quick to help Sarah settle in to her new position, as Sarah was more or less the only person at the school who was ever kind to her. The two form a close bond and her friendship with Becky is huge source of comfort for Sarah as Miss Minchin’s treatment of Sarah worsens.
6. The Group- The Group by Mary McCarthy
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This is the book that inspired Candace Bushnell’s Sex and the City series so you KNOW it’s good. Published in 1963, it follows eight friends who meet in college and their rollercoaster lives that follow!
7. Laura and Tyler- Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth
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Laura and Tyler, best friends for over a decade, have lived it large, drinking and partying excessively throughout their twenties. But now, Laura is engaged to a classical pianist named Jim who has left his partying days behind him and who is pulling Laura towards responsible adulthood. Tyler isn’t ready to let her go, and Laura is torn between her two lives. This is an honest and effecting portrait of female friendship and the modern lives of twenty-somethings.
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