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  • Tuesday Top Ten -- Veronica Henry

    Tue, 16 Jun 2009 02:17

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    Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for The Archers, Heartbeat and Holby City amongst many others, before turning to fiction. Her fourth novel, An Eligible Bachelor, was shortlisted for the RNA Novel of the Year Award 2006. Veronica lives with her husband and three sons in a village in North Devon.

    Here is Veronica's list of her top ten heroines:

    "All great commercial women's fiction needs strong heroines, and my childhood reading habits certainly helped influence my female leads when I later came to writing novels. No Elizabeth Bennett for me -- I like my heroines with a bit of an edge, definitely flawed, not always conventionally beautiful but definitely compelling."

    Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert

    Emma Bovary: the original shopaholic adulteress -- needy, superficial, tragic, selfish, and deeply flawed. She always makes me feel better about myself.

    Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

    Neely O'Hara: poor drunken, drug-crazed Neely, a self-absorbed monster, the archetypal car-crash. With friends like these...?

    Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queaneau

    Zazie: feisty, precocious and foul-mouthed pre-teen Zazie goes to stay with her homosexual uncle in Paris -- hilarious.

    Carrie by Stephen King

    Carrie: misunderstood misfit, telepathic Carrie unleashes her satanic retribution on her schoolmates. The ultimate revenge story.

    Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

    Flora Poste: down-to-earth Flora isn't phased by even the most eccentric of her long lost cousins, the Starkadders, when she goes to stay at Cold Comfort Farm.

    Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

    Fuchsia Groan: if I had a daughter I would name her after this ultimate Goth chick who roams the attics at Gormenghast Castle, amidst the infighting of her dysfunctional family.

    The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy

    Eustacia Vye: a tempestuous young woman who yearns for passion and freedom from her confines -- don't we all?

    A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

    Sara Crewe: kind, generous and imaginative, these qualities help Sara to survive when she loses her fortune and is banished to the attic at her boarding school to become a servant girl.

    The Country Girls by Edna O'Brien

    Kate and Baba: funny, touching, moving, shocking -- two girls grown up in rural Ireland in the 50s then go off for sex in Dublin's fair city.

    Diary of a Mad Housewife by Sue Kaufmann

    Bettina Balser: the book that spawned a thousand imitations -- the original and the best mid-life crisis novel ever. If you're ever contemplating an affair, read this first. Her husband and her lover are equally obnoxious.

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