Posted by: mzbitca | September 7, 2008

Feminism in unlikely places

My mother and I occasionally exchange books.  She happened to give me a book entitled “The Key of  Light”” by Nora Roberts.  I went into it expecting it to be pretty much fluff, a romantic story and really nothing more.  I actually was quickly immersed in the book and the two that followed it, “The Key of Knowledge” and “The Key of Valor.” The books cover the quest of three women who work to release the souls of three celtic demi-goddesses through self-awareness and self-acceptance.  There is romance of course and your typical sex scenes but I was really enamored with the three personalities of the women.Mallory is the first. She works at an art gallery and finds herself out of a job after she is bumps heads with her boss’s new wife who attempts to take over the gallery.  She is a perfectionist who attempts to plan out her life in every little detail.  She knows what she wants, is upfront about getting it and is a bit of a romantic. She finds the key when she finally takes a leap both emotionally (with a man who didn’t live up to her “ideal”) and financially (The three girls prepare to start their own business).  She learns to take risks and live on her own terms.

Dana (who I probably identify with the most) is a librarian with a big temper, a stubborn streak, and a love of sex (not just romantic but occasionally angry and rough).  She learns through her quest to test her strength and stubborness.  She learns to open up and trust her college boyfriend who she felt abandoned her.  She has a smart mouth and says exactly what she thinks.  

Zoe is a single mother who has gone from a poor girl impreganated by a rich guy who’s family refused to acknowledge her child.  She has worked hard to give her child a good life and is strong and capable.  Her quest helps her deal with her past and move on to let others in and not take the whole weight of the world on her shoulders.

These three girls all end up with guys at the end but their relationship with the guys are done on their terms.  They start their own business, lead their own lives, and help each other throughout their quest.  The men they meet compliment them but the women are the stars of the series.  They all enjoy sex, have visions of their own careers and are not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. 

Obviously these books are not bastions of feminist theory and it is definitely written from a white, heterosexual view. However, if you are looking for a fun quick read with female heroines that are strong and capable I would recommend the Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

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