Read Harder 2018: A Book With a Female Protagonist Over 60

Our second-to-last Read Harder challenge asks readers to find a book that features a female protagonist over the age of 60.  We’ve compiled an extended list of novels that spans across multiple genres – but here are just a few to get you started.

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman
FICTION BACKMAN

“Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She begins her day at 6 a.m., because only lunatics wake up later than that. And she is not passive-aggressive. Not in the least. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.”


Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
FICTION HARUF

“In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness. They are soon exchanging the confidences and memories of lives now empty of family, and their hopes for the imminent future.”


The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane
FICTION MCFARLAN

“An elderly Australian woman lets a mysterious and possibly sinister caretaker into her beach-side home and into her life.”

 


Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey
MYSTERY HEALEY

“In a heartbreakingly honest meditation on memory, identity, and aging, an elderly woman descending into dementia embarks on a desperate quest to find the best friend she believes has disappeared. Convinced Elizabeth is missing and in terrible danger, Maud’s search for the truth will go back decades and have shattering consequences. As this singular obsession forms a cornerstone of Maud’s rapidly dissolving present, the clues she discovers seem to lead to another unsolved disappearance: her sister, Sukey, who vanished shortly after World War II.”


My Real Children by Jo Walton
SCIENCE FICTION WALTON

“It’s 2015, and Patricia Cowan is very old. “Confused today,” read the notes clipped to the end of her bed. She forgets things she should know-what year it is, major events in the lives of her children. But she remembers things that don’t seem possible. She remembers marrying Mark and having four children. And she remembers not marrying Mark and raising three children with Bee instead. She remembers the bomb that killed President Kennedy in 1963, and she remembers Kennedy in 1964, declining to run again after the nuclear exchange that took out Miami and Kiev. Her childhood, her years at Oxford during the Second World War, those were solid things. But after that, did she marry Mark or not? Did her friends all call her Trish, or Pat? Had she been a housewife who escaped a terrible marriage after her children were grown, or a successful travel writer with homes in Britain and Italy? And the moon outside her window: does it host a benign research station, or a command post bristling with nuclear missiles?”

 

Happy reading!
-Amanda, Adult Reference