“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.” - Abraham Lincoln
If I had a penny for every time I read a book and came across something that I couldn't put into words myself, I'd probably be able to afford the hardback covers of all my favourite books. The unforeseen familiarity washes over you, like a resilient gush of wind. Some books are like a steep dive in the past, while the others are a leap of faith into the future. Let me steer your way through my books for a quintessential tomorrow.
PALACE OF ILLUSIONS ~ CHITRA BANNERJEE
The first one to go on the list is The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni. It is an ironical take on Mahabharata, from the point of view of Draupadi, who rummages for her existence in the world of warrior princes and futile egos. Chitra once again proves her genius by capturing the essence of a woman floundering in a world where all her decisions are the curses she didn't deserve. Exploring the realm of India's greatest epic, through the perspective of a woman is exactly the revolution that the world needed. Even though the sanctity of the original form could have been perpetuated at some plots, The Palace of Illusions is still the epitome of cultural reconstruction.
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ~ JANE AUSTEN
Next up, is Jane Austen's classical masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett is one of those protagonists who have eternal relevancy, even in these ever-changing eras. The world must, once in a while, come across a strong-willed woman, who with her dynamic views and oblivion to the society, paves her own path in life. Breaking the stereotypes has been Austen's forte with her multi-faceted protagonists. Pride and Prejudice is not a misnomer, for in this book these themes form the basis of the characters' plots. It captures the classical aspect of literature while still being astonishingly relevant. The hysterical Bennetts, the proud Mr. Darcy and the prejudiced Elizabeth deserve the acknowledgement that they have received.
STARS SHINE DOWN ~ SIDNEY SHELDON
Further, Sidney Sheldon's The Stars Shine Down is next on the list. Sheldon has once again, done justice to his enigmatic plots and dramatic build-ups through the life of Lara Cameron, our pragmatic protagonist, towering over the traditionally male-dominated field of real-estate. Beautiful but insecure, ruthless yet vulnerable, Lara has struggled brutally to achieve it all – yet still wants more. In a dazzling global setting, she will find everything she has ever desired and won – her fortune, her fame, the man she loves – swiftly and shockingly imperilled. The stars shine down, look upon our little lives and weep for us, indeed. Sheldon has majestically owned the themes once again and for the admirers, Sheldon’s supremacy over the genre remains intact.
FLAWED/PERFECT ~ CECILIA AHERN
Another exemplary work is Cecilia Ahern’s Flawed and its sequel, Perfect which revolves around a dystopian society that belittles humanity. Celestine North is our protagonist whose instinct to be kind lands her in immense trouble – with the possibility of her perfect life being branded forever. The Guild is a dehumanising organization that strives for the eradication of everyone and everything flawed and this is where Celestine comes through, in desperate attempts to save her life. It is an introspection into the society that we live in, where perfection is paramount and even the slightest of flaws are frowned upon. Ahern’s compelling and authoritative story-telling drives the readers on the edge of their seats as they take on an emotionally-challenging journey with this story.
These books, all with female protagonists, are the embodiment of a quintessential tomorrow. Be it a futuristic approach or a recollection of the past, when it comes to being the voice of the unheard, nothing is mightier than a woman with a pen.