Who is your favorite female lead character? And why? (And yes, of course, you can name more than one . . . I always have trouble narrowing down these things to one name, why should I force you to?)
Oh wow! How do I choose? I guess I have liked all the female leads in Maeve Binchey's books, probably for the simple reason that Binchey makes them so likable! They are not perfect but undergo changes which make them stronger,compassionate, and real.
The other character who I have always enjoyed reading about is Ave Maria Mulligan from Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap series. She starts out as a very shy, socially inept, afraid of love kind of woman in the first book, but by the fourth, even though she still has her problems like the rest of us, she has matured and confronted some difficult things in her life and has become all the stronger for it. She ages gracefully!
Of course, I can't forget Elizabeth Darcy from Austen's Pride and Prejudice.