Saturday, December 22, 2007

Woman of the Year

By Keith Fisher

Every year, magazines and other publications announce their pick of woman or man of the year. Even though we may not agree with the choices, the candidate has usually done something noteworthy and deserving of praise.

Since it’s the end of the year, I decided to mimic that tradition and announce my choices of woman and man of the year. I won’t be choosing from a list of people in the news, nor will I choose a real person—I’m choosing characters from the books I’ve read this year. I’m sorry if I didn’t mention your character, or I didn’t get to your book. I hope you agree with my choices.

First, is a woman who really shines in False Pretenses written by Carol Thayne. Here is a woman who is true to her heart and her principles. Never compromising, always caring. She is personified so well in her 1960’s ways that it is hard to believe she isn’t real. Her name is Sunny Day, and she is one of my picks for this list.

Next, is a woman who is so convincing as one of the boys that I was stunned to see her as a beautiful woman. She made her choices long ago, and she’s fiercely loyal to them. She’s the best friend a young man ever had, and the best wife that young man could ever choose. She is Tiffany Gibson and she lives in a novel by Alma Yates called Race to Eden.

Next is a woman who’s one section of internal dialog earned her high marks in the believability scale when she begins her prayer convinced she is right but suddenly realizes she really doesn’t know and humbles herself to ask and listen. It’s the way most of us approach the Lord and it’s written well. Her name is Ruby Soderberg Alder and she lives on the pages of Seven Days for Ruby by Blaine and Brenton Yorgason.

One could not make a list like this without including the practically imperfect woman who admits to her obsession for food, and follows her heart instead of her mind. Of course I am talking about Shaundra Covington in the series by the same name, written by Jeffrey R Savage.

Perhaps most deserving of all to be on this list is the creation of an author who, like all of us, makes mistakes in our writing but I’ve never seen a better character creator. The character she created lives in the hearts of many, and is so convincing with her flaws and ethical standards that the reader is surprised when she shows a slight change of character. She is fiercely loyal to her friends and fights for them, and with them. Always prepared to the point of being obsessive, my best choice is Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling.

That’s my list, such as it is. I don’t have the space to list all the noteworthy women I have found on the pages I’ve read this year and some are best forgotten, but almost all should be mentioned, the authors as well. Next week, I’m going to do my list of men and boys, but keep in mind it won’t be easy. There aren’t as many male protagonists in books these days, especially LDS fiction.

Good luck with your writing, and reading, see you next week.

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