Female Authors Who Relay the Resoluteness of Women in History

In alignment with Women’s History Month, this segment of 3 to read will provide you with a variety of book styles all of which tell the must-read stories of inspirational women. 

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In alignment with Women’s History Month, this segment of Three to Read will provide you with a variety of book styles, all of which tell the must-read stories of inspirational women. 

As the flowers bloom this spring after a cold winter, we are reminded of the beauty of change. This new season is the perfect time to reflect on the past and find new hope for the future. It is only fitting to pick up a book that complements this notion. 

Historical fiction is rising in popularity as the narrative turns toward highlighting women’s history. To honor Women’s History Month, we have selected three novels written by female authors that relay different pieces of our past by telling stories inspired by prolific women. 


The Women by Kristin Hannah

The Women By Kristin Hannah book cover


After a sheltered upbringing, a young woman named Francis Mcgrath is inspired to redefine the parameters of her future. When her brother leaves their family to serve in Vietnam, and she receives news about his health, she is moved to join the Army Nurse Corps. With little exposure to danger in the idyllic home in Southern California, she is overwhelmed by the catastrophe of war. The darkness she is confronted with follows her home to a divided country.  She must navigate her trauma and the quickly changing scene in America that disapproves of the choice she made to stand with the soldiers. 


The Women by Kristin Hannah was freshly published on February 6. Hannah was deeply inspired to write this in honor of the woman in the Vietnam War whose fortitude alone brought them into direct danger, though it isn’t a true story. Like in her other popular books that stand as tributes to female figures, Hannah continues to immerse the reader in the lives of her characters with her impactful imagery. It is nearly impossible not to be inspired by the lead female characters’ persistence. This novel is a unique, must-read about patriotism and the courage of women in war.


An American Beauty: A Novel of the Gilded Age Inspired by The True Story of Arabella Huntington Who Became the Richest Woman in the World by Shana Abé

An American Beauty by Shana Abe book cover of girl in vintage dress


Her undeniable beauty aside, it is Arabella’s poise and grit that make her truly stand out among the other girls who work at Worsham’s gambling parlor. Such a disposition coincides with the personality of an older man named Collis Huntington, who happens to be married. Once flirtation becomes a full affair, Huntington helps Arabella move to New York and start a new life. It is difficult for Arabella to find her place after coming from a position of solitude and poverty. In her freshly established life of wealth, she is confronted with blackmail and an even more confusing new romance. This story explores the boundaries one creates for one’s own morality and the expectations in society for a woman, as a partner, and as one of the rich.  


The plotline is so gripping that the reader feels close to the characters. It is inspired by the life of Arabella Huntington. Huntington was born into penury but defined the limitations of women in the Gilded Age and rose to be one of the wealthiest females in America. Though a historically set novel can seem difficult to engage with, this rags-to-riches story is truly rich in amazing decisions by the author. Author Shana Abé beautifully conjoins scene descriptions and thorough character views into a filmesque story that can be compared to HBO’s The Gilded Age. Though it dabbles into alluring romance and action, this novel is a powerful testament to women’s perseverance.


The Exceptions by Kate Zernike

The Exceptions by Kate Zernike Book cover with graphic of beaker


In 1963, a young student at Harvard named Nancy Hopkins became enthralled with the science of genetics and embarked on an academic career — though she was pressured to conform to traditional feminine roles and start a family. After years of experiencing sexist treatment and receiving unequal pay, she guides a group of women to expose the discrimination against females in the field, to which MIT eventually admits. This groundbreaking event astonishes even the men whose disturbing actions are relayed in the plot and inspires a country-wide recognition of sexism. This book is a chronicle of Nancy Hopkin’s life and the passionate women alongside her who struggled to break the box that constricted their potential. 


The women in the stem will devour this book, as would anyone. This riveting story about the female place in academia is immensely special because it is written by the women who reported the real events. In 1999, when MIT admitted to discrimination, author Kate Zernike watched and reported this story for the Boston Globe. Her accounts of Nancy Hopkins and the MIT 16 submerse the reader into the time with their undeniable genuineness. The reality of gender inequality is dissected as the plot thickens. With this book, Zernike honors the radical effect these women had on the scientific community and society as a whole.

We sincerely hope you enjoyed this week’s recommendations! For more Three to Read book recommendations, click here!

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