What are the best non-romance novels with female protagonists?

asked by Anonymous
385 contributors
16 solutions
  1. 37

    #1The Help

    The Help
    The Help is a historical fiction novel by Kathryn Stockett. Set in the American South during the 1960s, it tells the stories of an unlikely group of three women working together to fight racial oppression.

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    Juan Lewis
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "This is a really nice book that touches on topics that are still relevant to this day. It's the story of 3 strong black women who work together and fight against being racially oppressed. I wasn;t sure if I could connect with it or if I would enjoy it much but the story was really touching and it was really well written so I had a good time with it."
  2. 34

    #2A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a classic coming-of-age book by Betty Smith that tells the story of a girl named Francie Nolan and her poverty-stricken family as they struggle to survive in early 20th century Brooklyn, New York.

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  3. 32

    #3The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. Set in a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the United States government, the novel explores themes of women in such as individualism and independence.


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    Charles Jacobs
    Written on May 6, 2018
    "The Handmaid's Tale is a very good book with a female protagonist. It is also non-romance novel and explores women in subjugation and different ways that they gain individualism and independence."
  1. 31

    #4The Joy Luck Club

    The Joy Luck Club
    The Joy Luck Club is a best-selling novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of a group of four Chinese women who meet together for mahjong and companionship. Later, their daughters continue the tradition.

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    Henry Hernandez
    Written on May 9, 2018
    "I heard about a book called the Joy Luck Club. My wife told me to read it so I did with really low expectations. I red it and the book made me sad and proud at the same time. It made me think about immigrants and how hard it can be."
  2. 29

    #5The Yellow Wallpaper

    The Yellow Wallpaper

    The Yellow Wallpaper is a classic fiction book written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman with Elaine Hedges for the Afterword, and Maggie O'Farrell for the Introduction. First published in 1892 by Virago Modern Classics and republished in 2006.


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    Philip Walters
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "I unfortunately not read any non-romance novels with female protagonists but according to the reviews online, its at 4 and a half stars out of 5 with close to 500 reviews on it. I'm pretty sure "The Yellow Wallpaper" is the book your looking for."
  3. 27


    First published in 1988, Matilda is a children's book by acclaimed author, Roald Dahl. It tells the story of Matilda, an intelligent little girl with superpowers, as she faces off with the school principal, the cruel Mrs. Trunchbull.

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    Danielle Washington
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I love novels with female leads! It's even better when they are not romance novels, so Matilda is a great option in the genre. Very strong child female lead in this book!"
  4. 25

    #7Pippi Longstocking

    Pippi Longstocking
    Pippi Longstocking is a children's book by the Swedish writer Asterid Lingren. It tells the adventurous story of the titular Pippi, a nine-year-old girl with freckles, red hair in pigtails, and superhuman strength.

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    Rakesh Venkatesan
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Pippi Longstocking is a great story that every child should read about I think my parents read this to me and my brother a lot when I was little and really enjoyed it."
  5. 24

    #8The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees

    The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd depicts loss and betrayal. This book was a New York Times bestseller and has won the 2004 Book Sense Book of the Year Awards. In 2008, this novel was turned into a movie.


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    Benjamin Richards
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "While The Secret Life of Bees serves as a non-romance novel with a female protagonist, I feel that the story and plot are poor and don't capture legitimate feelings. In the novel, you are expected to have a strong sense of loss and betrayal. However, I feel these themes come through as forced and fake and they don't add to the narrative. "
  6. 22

    #9A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

    A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
    A Wrinkle in Time, the first in Madeleine L'Engle's Time Quartet series, is centered on how Meg Murry and her family met an unearthly stranger during a stormy night and was introduced to the tesseract, which is the book's term for a wrinkle in time.

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    Samuel Mason
    Written on May 2, 2018
    "Usually the "It was a dark and stormy night" is ironic. That was before it was used to death, which back in 1963, was still the case. It was also before all the characters were "diversified" to be politically correct. My imagination traveled so far with this. It's sad what Hollywood has taken this book and now done with it."
  7. 21



    Neil Gaiman's Coraline is about a little girl who found another dimension, and in it, she saw her family and friends, but they had buttons for eyes. Realizing the dangers, Coraline must use her wits to save not only herself but the others as well.


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    Nathan Crawford
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "When I read Coraline, I was unable to stop reading it. It is one of the best non-romance novels I have read in a long time. Neil Gaiman wrote this novel and it is a New York Times #1 best seller and understandably so. I loved this book and I think everyone will love it also."
  8. 20

    #11Magic America

    Magic America

    Magic America: Coming of Age in an Altered State is a magical realism book for young adults written by C.E. Medford. It is a coming-of-age story set in Trenton, New Jersey in the 1980s, but in an alternate universe.


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    Harold Cooper
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "I'm a big fan of novels with female protagonists so Magic America caught my eye when I saw it. After reading it, I think its a good book for young adults interested in a non romance, coming of age story."
  9. 19

    #12Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a historical fiction novel by Lisa See, which tells the story of Lily, who was paired with Snow Flower as her "laotong that is set in the 19th century in China. 

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    Kathleen Griffin
    Written on May 3, 2018
    ""Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" was certainly best non-romance novels with female protagonists that I have read lately. It allows one to dive into the Chinese culture through the eyes of innocence. Great read for anyone who loves history or travel."
  10. 17

    #13The Thirteenth Tale

    The Thirteenth Tale

    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a gothic historical fiction on how children allegorically think of their birth. It tells the gothic strange encounters of the protagonist throughout the story.


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    Alan Thompson
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "This solution is good because it is a popular book. It has good reviews and it seems like an interesting read."
  11. 15

    #14The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)

    The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next)

    The Eyre Affair by Japser Fforde is a science fiction and literary detective novel originally published in 2001.This book belongs to Fforde's Thursday Next series. It is followed by Lost in a Good Book.


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    Arjun Rathore
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "I love a good novel with a female hero. I enjoy these reads and find them very invigorating. The Eyre Affair was perfect for what I needed. I thought it got you encapsulated and made a ton of sense with the way the story went into its habits."
  12. 12

    #15Doomsday Book

    Doomsday Book
    The book is about Kivrin Engle, a young historian specializing in medieval history, who was to travel to what was perceived as the dark ages. Due to an unlikely turn of events, she finds herself playing a much more vital part in history. 

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    Ronald Kennedy
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "For Kivrin, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin -- barely of age herself -- finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours. Five years in the writing by one of science fiction's most honored authors, Doomsday Book is a storytelling triumph. Connie Willis draws upon her understanding of the universalities of human nature to explore the ageless issues of evil, suffering and the indomitable will of the human spirit."
  13. 4

    #16From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler

    From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler

    From The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. is a classic picture book written and illustrated by literary icon E.L. Konigsburg. It was originally published in 1957. It is about a girl who ran away from her house and found an adventure in New York City.


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    Isabel Hernández
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "Looking for a book that involves a strong female character but not a romance? Want a non romance book for your child to read? This is a good choice. Published 60 years ago this book will still entertain young readers with its theme of "running away from home" mixed with a little bit of mystery. A great read for all kids, and parents! A good book for parents and kids to read together, avoiding the sticky subject of romance which might be too advanced for some young readers. "


Best What are the best non-romance novels with female protagonists
1The HelpBooks 37 Paid
2A Tree Grows in BrooklynBooks 34 Paid
3The Handmaid's TaleBooks 32 Paid
4The Joy Luck ClubBooks 31 Paid
5The Yellow WallpaperBooks 29 Paid
6MatildaBooks 27 Paid
7Pippi LongstockingBooks 25 Paid
8The Secret Life of BeesBooks 24 Paid
9A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)Books 22 Paid
10CoralineBooks 21 Paid

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