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?)
I don't know of a female character whom I could name as my perennial favourite ... there's always Elizabeth Bennett, I guess, and lots of people will think of her first. And I imagine the 'spirited' one from Little Women - Jo? - will get a few votes as well.
I get right into books I enjoy, and fall for many of the characters straight away. But it will all be over in a flash as I move on to the next book. It's hard to pick the most outstanding. So many books, so many great people to meet!
For example, while I was recently reading Barbara Pym's Excellent Women, set in post-war Britain, I thought her lead (Mildred? Winifred? I don't have the book with me right now) was a great character: strong and principled, with warmth and great wit, plus a healthy dollop of cynicism and a self-deprecating sense of humour.
Just like the character of Marie Sharpe in Virginia Ironside's No, I Don't Want to Join a Book Club, which I read just a few days ago.
I suppose my answer is that I like a certain type of female lead more than any one particular fictional female.