Day 16 – Your Favorite Female Character
The answer to today’s topic wasn’t as easy to choose as my favorite male character. There have been many fictional women whom I’ve admired or empathized with over the years. There’s Scout, of course, from To Kill A Mockingbird, the lady forensic anthropologists in novels by Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs, even classical characters such as Estella in Great Expectations or Mrs. Hudson in the Sherlock Holmes stories.
As for my current favorite female character it would have to be Stephanie Plum, the rather inept bounty hunter in the “number” mysteries by Janet Evanovich. This Italian-American product of “The Burg” in Trenton, New Jersey, has more bad luck and accidents that turn out alright than all of the other strong female literary detectives combined. When I read the dialogue I can hear the voice of either of my two cousins, Terry or Carol, and can visualize all of the Jersey girl 1980’s clich้s touched on in certain songs by Bruce Springsteen or screen portrayals such as in “Goodfellas” or “The Sopranos.” Comic relief is provided by numerous elements including Plum’s own sarcasm and the frequent destruction of the cars she drives, whether her own or borrowed from friends and family members. Further humor is provided mostly by the other female characters in the novels, especially Grandma Mazur, while the male characters tend to be fairly serious and practical.
Reading through each novel (and I skipped around a bit as when I started I didn’t have all of the books) I often wonder who Stephanie will ultimately end up with — will it be the sympathetic cop Joe Morelli or the mysterious and somewhat dangerous (but always reliable) co-bounty hunter Ranger who makes her settle down to domesticity. Somehow I don’t see Plum ever being able to sit still long enough to become the traditional housewife, although in Trenton the typical woman has a handbag containing not only pepper spray but a gun as well.
I’m enjoying these books — I still have around ten to go (and I believe that Evanovich is getting ready to publish yet another). They are fun and I can read them fairly quickly which is a real plus as I work my way towards completing the 100+ Reading Challenge again this year. Yes, I’d say Stephanie Plum is definitely my favorite female character right now if just for the enjoyment her antics provide; I really need something that can make me laugh during a particularly trying time in my own life.