“Once upon a time, years ago, I thought I was pretty. My sister, Varena, and I had the usual rivalry going, and I remember deciding my eyes were bigger and a lighter blue than hers,…… I haven’t seen Varena in three years now. Probably she is the pretty one. Though my face hasn’t changed, my mind has. The workings of the mind look out through the face and alter it. “- Charlaine Harris; Shakespeare’s Landlord
Middle thirties; short blonde hair, toned and muscular body; skilled in martial arts; resides in Shakespeare, Arkansas.
Where to find her:
Lily Bard makes her first appearance in Charlaine Harris’ mystery novel “Shakespeare’s Landlord“(2005), and in all the subsequent books in the series. Lily, who makes her living as a housekeeper, finds herself thrown into situations of murder and mayham where the intimacy that is achieved by cleaning a person’s home makes her the perfect sleuth.
Why she made the list:
Lily is a survivor. After suffering a life altering act of violence, she leaves her home and wanders for a bit until she finds herself poeticly drawn to the little town of Shakespeare. Here she quietly rebuilds her life and begins to heal both the physical and mental scars left from her ordeal.
I apprecialte a lot of things about Lily. Her simplistic, almost Spartan life style, her need for order, her desire to take care of herself and her tendency to use humor or sarcasm in uncomfortable situations are all traits that I understand. Additionally, by choosing to make her living cleaning houses, she employs a form of therapy I use myself. When the world seems out of control, being able to clean, straighten and put some parts of it in order offers a certain sense of control.
Slowly, through out the series, Lily starts to open up and begins her healing process. She gets close to people and starts to trust again and, while she will never be her old self again, she learns to love the person she has become.
I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.
Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.